Mic Flag & European Mic Flags at press conferences


Let's talk about Mic Flags at press conferences.

I've only worked in one market, New York City for the past 15 years as a freelancer. I've done news, documentary, EFP, and all sorts of other work. As a sound recordist some of the press conferences I've done are a podium where we've arrived an hour before the event and were one of the first or 2nd crews to arrive and I used a podium clamp and put up an Electro-Voice RE50/B mic on my clamp and hardlined XLR back to the camera & sound equipment. If it was for one of the half dozen shows that used a mic flag they would give it to me and I'd slide it on first, usually a cube. Sometimes it would be a lightstand and a micbar already setup and I'd clamp it to that. This is how it usually looks at most events where there is a major news event and no press mult box:

I've read before on b-roll.net that in smaller markets if it was a press event where there was only a few cameras the one-man-band camerapeople would make a handshake deal to remove all of the News station's micflag so no micflags would be visible in the shot. At the last minute before it started one new cameraperson would show up and lay a mic with their station's micflag fully visible in everyone's shot on the other mics and start rolling and the presser would start.
Now I've never actually heard crews or camera people discuss removing mic flags with this being the #1 market and usually a good number of cameras show up as well as if it is a big event there is usually a press mult box and we sometimes put a backup mic if allowed on the podium.
This being New York there is also a good deal of worldwide media at a number of events and sometimes that means European TV & Radio media. Now this presents a certain visual element to mics and mic flags. sometimes it is a short "shotgun" mic instead of a handmic with a long foam windscreen that is usually a color and sometimes on the foam a logo of the TV or radio outlet. With the foam having a logo that is a logo that is much closer to the talking head so that when cropping out most of the microphones those Euro mics are still showing logos and even a closer crop has to happen. Not so much with 16x9 framing but with 4x3 framing that includes these obnoxious mic flags.
I have always felt the Europeans are so much worse with their saturated color foam windscreen mic flag with words on the foam!


How do you guys feel about the european mic flags specifically?


Well-known member
Im not a fan of the big bright windscreens yellow, green, red etc. I like the way most do it in the US with the mic flags all visible. However I know in Boston (market 7) The photogs almost always remove the mic flags at press conferences.
I'll have to buck the grain here and say I actually kind of like the euro miss. At least the flags serve a purpose as opposed to the ones most stations have. And they won't rattle around after they are in use for a while.