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Patriot Guard Flag Protocol


The Patriot Guard Flag

The Patriot Guard flag is the United States flag - the flag of our forefathers.  

Throughout the history of the United States, civilians and military have fought and died for the flag, 
which is representative of our nation. 

It is an honor to fly the American flag on our motorcycles.

We strive to establish uniformity on Patriot Guard missions.  
Our purpose is to honor our Fallen Heroes, and the U.S. flag leads the way. 

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America 
and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, 
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Flag Protocol

The following information is derived from a variety of sources, with the definitive source being the 
Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 1005.8   ; The DoD Directive applies to all Veterans Service
Organizations, every citizen of the United States, and thus, to the Patriot Guard.
The directive can be found at website link:   Click here

Holding a Flagpole in the Flag Line

We mount our flags on 10-foot poles. 
When holding a flag pole, the flag must be held with the right hand and remain vertical.
The bottom of the pole should rest on the ground near the outside of the right foot.
The American Flag should never "dip". 

In windy situations it may be necessary to extend the left arm across the body,
placing the left hand below or above the right hand to steady the pole.
Roll up the flag when instructed to do so.

Hand Salute

A hand salute is rendered when the flag passes, and when the flag-draped casket is moved.

It is incorrect for people holding the flag to render the "Hand Salute".
Holding the flag while standing at attention is equivalent to rendering a hand salute. 

People holding the flags should not render the hand salute - they should instead continue to
hold the American Flag in the upright position with the right hand. 

Those who are not holding flags and have served in the military, law enforcement, or firefighting
agencies should render the "hand salute" and hold it until the command "Order Arms" is given. 

All others who are not holding flags should place their right hand over their heart. 

Rendering a hand salute:

The Patriot Guard follows the lead of the military, law enforcement, and firefighters in charge of
the honors ceremonies.   When those groups issue the following commands, the Patriot Guard
obeys the commands.
There may be occasions when the Patriot Guard Road Captain must issue the commands.
"Attention!" --> Come to attention
"Present, Arms!" --> Salute if not holding a flag
"Order, Arms!" --> Arm back to side but stand at attention
"As You Were" or "At ease" --> If holding flag, continue until instructed to roll them up

Flags on Motorcycles

DoD does not provide instructions or directives for displaying the US flag or other flags on motorcycles. 

The Patriot Guard displays flags on motorcycles based on DoD Directive 1005.8 which provides instructions
on order of flag display.   This order is used by our escort squads in processions.

The Patriot Guard flies only one three-foot by five-foot flag on each motorcycle. 

Motorcycles and trikes that follow the hearse and family shall display the US flag. 
Club, association, and organization banners / flags are not flown. 

Non-flagged motorcycles and trikes will follow them. 

"Cages" follow in the rear. 

The Patriot Guard Road Captain will designate a small group of riders to provide an escort squad in front
of the hearse.  The escort squad flies the flags in the following order. 
  U.S. (American) 
  Air Force
  Coast Guard
  Guard and/or Reserve (if present) 
  Unit or Divisional flags (if present) 
  Chaplain flag
  KIA flag

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