Breaking & lowering the Australian National Flag

The Australian National flag is often broken or lowered at the opening and closing of our activities, and sometimes at the start and end of many of our ceremonies.

The breaking and lowering of the Australian flag should follow these steps: -


  • The flag, correctly folded for breaking, is hoisted to the top of the flagpole by the Patrol Leader or Unit Leader before the ceremony or activity opening.
    • The Unit is called into a circular formation, and to “Alert”.
  • The person raising the flag (pre-determined) walks to the flagpole and, without saluting, holds the loose side of the rope, at the same time saying “Unit, face the flag”.
  • The member holding the rope says: “Unit, Salute”, and at the same time pulls down on the rope, breaking the flag, and then steps back to salute the flag with the rest of the Unit.
    • The salute ends when the member at the flag brings their hand down from the salute
  • All youth and adult members return to their standing positions around the ceremony formation, and the person leading the ceremony asks the Unit to “Stand at ease” while any announcements, activity discussions and proceedings occur.


  • The flag is at the top of the pole. The Scouts are in a circle or horse-shoe in front of the flag
  • The person leading the ceremony asks the Unit to stand to “Alert”.
  • The person lowering the flag (pre-determined) walks around the back of the formation to prepare to lower the flag.
    • They might need to take another Scout to help them and make sure the flag doesn’t touch the ground.
  • The person lowering the flag stands in front of the flag and salutes.
  • The person lowering the flag says, “Unit, face the flag”.
    • All turn to face the flag; if necessary, the person assisting turns to stand underneath the flag facing the Unit.
  • The flag is lowered slowly either into the arms of the person assisting or onto a piece of furniture or similar.
    • The Unit salutes as the flag is being lowered.
    • The Unit drops their salute once the flag has been completely lowered.
  • The Scout/s who lowered the flag return to their position/s.
  • The person leading the ceremony asks the Unit to “Stand at ease”.
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