April 06, 2020, 12:35:43 pm

Flag configuration for parades / posting

Started by Eclipse, February 07, 2020, 05:10:28 pm

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Everything I can find says that the US flag should always have an
eagle for the finial, yet I see photos all over the web of USAF and other military
color guards using silver spears in the parades.

If you have a single US flag that would be used posted in an office and then used in parades,
does the finial need to be changed for the parade, is it just left with the spear and posted since
it's a parade spear?

Is it OK to march with the eagle?

Also, if it's to be displayed with other flags, especially state flags, should all the spear be the same (silver / gold)? Or would it be better to have a gold one for the US and silver for any others?

I know most units just buy whatever is handy and use it as-is, I'm just looking for some supportable consistency.


From AFI 34-1201 U.S. Air Force Protocol


2.34.2. Staff Ornament, Flagstaff Head or Finial. The decorative device at the top of a flagstaff
is the finial. It is precedence the eagle finial be used only with the Presidential flag. However,
if the United States Flag is displayed with the Presidential flag, then both may have the eagle
finial. The spearhead, acorn, and ball finials that were previously used are no longer Air Force
standard. Upon replacing or purchasing new finials through attrition, the eagle, spearhead,
acorn, or ball should not be purchased. All finials in a display or ceremony should be the same.
This does not restrict the display of a state flag from a staff bearing a state device when national
and other state flags are displayed from adjacent flagstaffs; however, the Air Force does not
provide such devices. The following finials are authorized for flags used by Air Force
organizations: Eagle (for the Presidential Flag). Spade, silver in color (primary finial used by the Air Force).
"Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid.", Sgt. John M. Stryker.


The flag code is silent on this, so why does just about every flag posting kit
include the eagle?

900-2 says "may be an eagle" but carried will have a spearhead.

So it would seem that two (or more) silver spades would be the way to go.


The relevant CAP reference is CAPR 900-2 31 DEC 2012 Paragraph 5, b, (7) Flagstaffs.
Short version: The US flag can have the eagle device while in the office but must have the spade when used in a parade.


February 07, 2020, 06:20:21 pm #4 Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 06:23:33 pm by Eclipse
Clearly another reg few have actually read...

Is an incorrect finial the kind of thing you'd get nicked for at NCC?
For that matter is parade etiquette a part of NCC?