> updated 28/04/15
Making Unit Flag
Making Own Unit Flags
Deborah wrote and asked:
I love the site but I have a question I cannot find anywhere in the Scouting books. We are starting a brand new Boy Scout group and we don't have a lot of money. One of the things we need is a flag so that we can carry it for parades and things. Can we make our own Boy Scout flag for this purpose? We have someone who can sew very well, and the flag would come as close as possible to the ones shown on your site. Who do we get permission to do this from? Thanks!"
The short answer, Deborah, is that the BSA does NOT allow you or me to create our own "knock offs" of the official Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Venturing, or Sea Scouting flags.
When I asked this question to the BSA's Supply Division back in 1996, the Associate Director responded to me and explained "It is not because we do not want units to show any kind of creativity; it is just that for "uniform sake" that the flags be of a certain size and design so that when they are displayed, except for the lettering, the flags should all match -- Pack flags are blue and gold; Troop flags are white and red; Team flags are orange and white; Post flags are solid blue; and Ship flags are white and blue.
A great seamstress could probably sew a flag and do a great job with it; we want units however to purchase the flags and other items from the Supply Division because it in part is why we exist: to be the official supplier of everything Scouting to our units and in return, to the youth of those units."
Official BSA flags are ONLY sold through the BSA's Supply Group. No other organization, firm or outfitter has the authority to sell or distribute official BSA flags. Official flags are sold ONLY complete with the unit number (and name, in the case of Venturing Crews and Sea Scout Ships desiring to place their name on their flags), city and state. They are NOT sold "plain" anymore and units do NOT have the option of purchasing the lettering and have someone else to sew them onto the flag.
The BSA does allow units to develop their own unit banner or display, using firms who have permission from the BSA to use their copyrighted logos and/or emblems on the banner. To do this, you must approach a firm which will honor the BSA's Licensing standards. The design of the banner must be approved by your Council's Scout Executive -- there is nobody else empowered or authorized by the BSA in your Council to sign off and authorize this other than the Council's Scout Executive -- not your District Executive or Director; not a Field Director or Assistant Scout Executive. The Scout Executive sends a copy of the authorization to the BSA's Supply Group for their concurrence. (This is to make sure that your flag firm is not "secretly making" an official BSA flag and calling it a "banner".)
Such banners are displayed at Scout Shows, summer or day camps, parades and observances of the unit's choosing.
Deborah, have your chartered partner to pay for your new Troop's flag. That $150-$200 investment will go a long way and help "gel" the relationship between the organization which provides for your unit's Scouting adventures and activities and your unit and it's youth.
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