Marshall McLuhan and the Eagle Court of Honor


Media critic Marshall McLuhan famously argued that the medium is the message. And there’s no doubt that the way in which a message is transmitted inevitably shapes the message. Just consider how you react to a TV report on a violent crime–complete with disturbing video–and a newspaper story about the same crime.

Far from the world of violent crime, the medium of an Eagle court of honor also shapes the message guests receive. If the room is comfortably full, the event will seem successful, but if the room is three-quarters empty–even with 150 people in the audience–there will be a negative vibe. If the setting is a courtroom or church sanctuary, the event will take on a more serious tone, but if the setting is a park, the event will feel more relaxed.


And if the setting is the U.S. embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria–as shown in the photo above–you can count a pretty impressive flag ceremony to kick off the ceremony. (You can see more photos from that 2017 court of honor at

Of course, if you don’t have U.S. diplomats in your troop, you’re not likely to hold your next court of honor in the great hall of an embassy, but I’m guessing you have troop families with access to impressive and appropriate venues. By selecting a venue that offers the right atmosphere, you can ensure that your medium and message match–and perhaps have your event featured in photos seen around the world.

For more great ideas, check out my ebook, Showtime: 45 Top Tips from and The Eagle Court of Honor Book; it costs just $2.99 and is available for immediate download from both and


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