MISSAR Color Guard:​

The Color Guard of the Michigan Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (MISSAR) plays a significant role in the organization, reflecting a deep historical connection to the military traditions of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Historically, flags were commonly referred to as "the Colors," and they held primary importance to military regiments or brigades during that era. The Colors were placed at the center of the line during battles, serving as a pivotal focal point for the troops. The position of the Colors determined the formation and movement of the line of battle. If the Colors advanced, the line would advance; if they retired, the line would follow suit. Additionally, during the chaos of battle, the Colors served as a rallying point for troops if the line was broken or soldiers became dispersed. In essence, the success of a military unit in battle often hinged on the proper handling and protection of the Colors.

The MISSAR Color Guard was reestablished in 2004 under the leadership of Commander Gerald Burkland. It originally had its roots in the mid-1990s with a small group of dedicated members, including an NSSAR Minute Man, a Great Lakes District Vice President-General, and a former MISSAR President. The decision to reorganize the Color Guard was influenced by Commander Burkland's involvement in grave rededications and by his observations of the NSSAR Color Guard.

Currently, the MISSAR Color Guard has adopted the "Washington Guard" uniform, which is the same uniform worn by General George Washington's personal Life Guard during the American Revolutionary War. This uniform choice reflects a commitment to historical accuracy and pays homage to the spirit of the era. While the "Washington Guard" uniform is the standard, the MISSAR Color Guard also allows for the wearing of other uniform styles that are consistent with the period, providing a degree of flexibility while maintaining a connection to the historical traditions and significance of the Colors in the military context of the American Revolution.

MISSAR Sword Salute:

The Michigan SAR Color Guard has honored several individuals with a sword salute. Our Congressionally sanctioned Color Guard have used the salute as an act of respect. We identify the salute as an Ancient Warrior Salute, which we use to honor individuals for their service. Sword salutes can be traced back several hundred years. The Michigan Color Guard salute comes in the form of four acts.

The Color Guard Commander begins by bringing the Color Guard to attention, then makes the following announcement: “On behalf of the National Society sons of the American Revolution, through its Congressional Charter with the United State of America, we honor (individual's name) and present a Sword Salute.” The Commander commands “Present Arms!”, and the Guardsmen's swords are drawn with the right hand and raised vertically with pummel at chest level, with the blade about six inches from the neck. The edge of the blade faces left and to the right of the right eye. (There follows a five-second pause.)

The second command of “Salute!” is issued to the Guardsmen, and in one motion, they remove their hats and steps forward with their right foot and bow. The Guardsmen bow at the waist and their swords are lowered to the right, pointing at the ground at a 45-degree angle, with the tip of the sword about four inches from the ground. The Guardsmen's hats are now lowered to the left with the lining facing the Guardsmen at a 90-degree angle to the ground. (There follows another five-second pause.)

With the third command, “Return!”, the Guardsmen return their hats and bring their swords back to the Present Arms position. (There follows another five-second pause.)

With the fourth command, “Order Arms!”, the Guardsmen return their swords to their scabbards and remain at attention.

There are four important elements that make up the Sword Salute:

The act of removing the hat symbolizes respect for the person or persons being honored. The bow is to honor the service to our country that the person or persons have rendered. The sword symbolizes an ancient military honor respecting the person or persons. The Salute is used to honor those who have passed as well as those we wish to honor still serving.

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