Sons Of The American Revolution
Ohio Society , Marietta Chapter
Marietta Color Guard Information
Battles at the time of the American Revolution were usually fought in skirmishes in a relatively small area of a few acres, at cross roads, a bridge, or other point of significant tactical importance. Consequently, most of the battles were fought virtually hand to hand. Heavy equipment was difficult to manipulate and move from point to point.
It was also difficult to communicate with the soldiers as they fought the battle. The Commander would ride horseback along the front of the line encouraging the troops to persevere, then retire behind the lines to have a better view of the action. The rallying point for the soldiers was their “Colors”. Each Battalion had its Flag, usually a Flag of the State, or a military unit. General Washington eventually flew the Flag of the Colonies, the “Betsy Ross” flag with its thirteen stars and thirteen strips in red, white and blue.
The battle flag could be seen by all the troops, as it was generally flown in the middle of the front line. The Flag provided the much needed communications to the soldiers as they fought. If the Flag moved forward, the troops knew to go forward, if it retreated, they knew to retreat. The enemy made good use of the Flag being the central form of communication to the troops, and would make every effort to put down the Guardsman who carried it. If a Color Guardsman, who could not use his gun as he carried the flag, was hit, another Guardsman would take up the Flag and continue on in the battle. The Color Guardsman was considered a hero of special account, and it was an honor to carry the Flag during battle, and on other occasions.
Today, the Sons of the American Revolution honor the memory of those brave soldiers by forming a Color Guard at most of it’s many Chapter locations across the country. The Color Guard is employed in many Patriotic events such as the laying of Wreaths on the tombs of Unknown Soldiers, accompanying the Funeral procession of a Compatriot, in Parades, providing the Colors for the Pledge of Allegiance at public gatherings and on other such occasions.
Becoming a member of the SAR Color Guard is considered by many, reason enough to become a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. The only requirement to joining this respected group is membership in the SAR, and having an appropriate uniform, or costume, to wear when carrying the Flag. Also members of the Color Guard include those who march with or fire muskets in salutes, and those who participate in the fife and drum corp.
The Marietta Chapter’s current Color Commander is Dick McAllister. For more information about costumes and other questions, please contact him. He may be reached at email@example.com , or by phone at (304) 422-9679.