These Scouts won’t flag

Boy Scout Troop 204 has distinction of being the only one in the council to perform historical American flag ceremony.

July 04, 2009|By Joyce Rudolph

Boy Scout Troop 204 is the only troop in the Verdugo Hills Council that performs the Historic Flag Ceremony at patriotic events in the community.

Members display five designs of the American flag that mark historic times in our country’s past. Troop 204 is made up of boys who live in Burbank and Glendale and is part of the Verdugo Hills Council Boy Scouts of America.

The troop, which is sponsored by the Burbank Noon Kiwanis Club, has conducted the ceremony for events like the Noon Kiwanis’ Pause for the Pledge, an event that pays tribute to the Pledge of Allegiance on Flag Day, June 14.


The Historic Flag Ceremony was created in 1971 by Burbank resident Sam Engel Sr., a member of the Boy Scouts for 67 years and former scoutmaster of Troop 204.

A World War II veteran, Engel wrote the script for a ceremony to dedicate a new flag the troop purchased after two others were taken from an equipment room, one flag in 1969 and another in 1970, he said.

“The ceremony details five of the most significant changes in the development of our American flag,” he said. “The five flags we use in the ceremony a Scout had to know as a Tenderfoot Scout requirement. But over the years that requirement changed.”

There is a great sense of pride that comes with the privilege of being the only troop that performs the ceremony, members said.

“The best thing about doing the ceremony is the sense of pride your get while holding the American flag,” said Glendale resident Mathias Zastrow, 17, who will be a senior in the fall at Notre Dame High School.

Dellon Soderstrom, 17, who graduated in June from Burroughs, said it’s a part of history.

“It’s one of the few historic flag ceremonies recognized by Boy Scouts of America,” he said.

Eddie Barbosa, 11, who is entering the sixth grade at John Muir Middle School in the fall, participated for the first time in the ceremony at the Pause for the Pledge in June, he said.

“It was cool because you got to hold the flag with a bunch of people looking at you, and you feel historic,” Barbosa said.

Dylan Garcia, 11, also entering sixth grade at Muir in September, said it gave him an adrenaline rush.

“It was really fun to hear the band play ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ and ‘America the Beautiful’ and other patriotic songs,” he said.

Jack Cotrel, 17, who will start his senior year at Burroughs in the fall, got right to the point.

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