Color Guards. Respectful Or Dangerous?Posted: April 5, 2013
Color Guards reflect the pride that citizens of a country take in their nations and flags. The precision and dignity that a Guard brings to the arrival of a flag can be inspirational to the those who the flag represents.
As I’ve mentioned, I work a little overtime in a sports arena. I see plenty of color guards there. Those groups are polished, precise and very particular about how they complete their duties. They concern me.
I’m inside the arena an hour before the doors open to the public. Usually I will grab a chair and watch the final preparations for the game. Players warm up, the dance team runs through their routine, someone practices the anthem. The Color Guard walks through the flag presentation.
Most Color Guards walk through two or three times. There is a good bit of discussion: the group enters from this tunnel, marches to there, pivots after six counts, stops at some unseen mark on the floor. So many details to be tended to. But there is one detail I’ve never heard discussed. Maybe they talk about it in the car on the way over.
What are they supposed to do if they actually have to guard the flag? They’ve got rifles, they are called a guard. Those things imply a level of responsibility and a willingness to act upon that responsibility. They are charged with protecting the colors of a nation. Are there rules of engagement should those colors need protecting?
Are the rules different for a sports event and a parade? Parades bring their own perils. An errant shot could knock Biff Murphy, Sports Director for Eyewitness News 3, right off the float behind the flags. I know that’s probably not the worst thing that can happen, but everyone has a mother, even local TV “personalities”.
Most Color Guard units are military or police based. But let us not forget that our friends in The Fire Service have color guards too. They carry big chrome axes. I think they do that because hoses would get kinks in them when the guard turned corners. A trickle of water from a kinked hose neither impresses nor terrifies.
Consider the level of savagery that is implied by someone with an ax guarding a flag, or anything else. How very Viking of them. Sure, Biff Murphy fares better in an ax situation, but the brutality of swinging one of those things at a body. I shudder to type about it.
I call upon the legislatures of all nations to convene hearings on this matter. All people, their nations and the colors that represent those nations deserve proper respect and dignity. But resolutions should be passed specifying the levels of protection we give to the symbols of our countries before things get out of hand and Biff gets picked off a float.
Not that Biff getting picked off a float is the worst thing that can happen.