Flag day was June 14 and the 4th of July is will be here before we know it. As Christians, we are to obey the laws of the land and be a living example to those around us. Part of that is showing respect to our flag and our county.
It got me thinking-did I still remember the correct etiquette for honoring the flag and what to do during the national anthem? Grade school, where we were taught that, was a long time ago! So, in case you are like me, here is a review.
On June 22, 1942, Congress passed a joint resolution, later amended on December 22, 1942, that encompassed what has come to be known as the U.S. Flag Code. It contains important guideline of how citizens should behave around the Stars and Stripes. There is also a code for conduct when the National Anthem is playing.US Federal Statute (36 U.S. Code § 301 – National anthem)
The etiquette for The National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and the U.S flag have several thing in common. We will start with the National Anthem. When our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, is played, we stand at attention in respect for those who fought and can no longer stand.
National Anthem Etiquette:
The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.Conduct During Playing.—During a rendition of the national anthem—(1)when the flag is displayed—(A)individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;(B)members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
- Don’t talk during the anthem.
- Remove your sunglasses.
- Don’t eat or drink during the song. If you’re chewing gum, stop until the anthem has ended. Have nothing in your hands (except a hat); put all electronic devices away including your phone.
- Since it’s our nation’s song, we should sing along, but it is not required. If you do sing, sing at a moderate volume.
- Something I didn't know, after the song is completed, it’s not proper to applaud. Applauding goes against the code. Our National Anthem is a hymn, and we usually don’t applaud after hymns.
Pledge of Allegiance:
- When pledging allegiance to the flag, follow the manners of participating in the National Anthem listed above.
- Say the Pledge out loud with the rest of those gathered.
- Look at the flag as the Pledge is said, and don’t forget to put your right hand over your heart.
U.S. Flag Etiquette:
- Any time you’re at an event and the flag passes you, stand up as you see it come into your line of vision. Follow all the protocols of listening to the National Anthem listed above. And remain standing until the flag has passed you and your family or group.
For more information on Flag etiquette visit USFlag.org.
That seems like a lot, but it mostly comes down to this: stand at attention, remove your hats, hand over your heart. We have been blessed by God to live in this country. Let's honor that by respecting the etiquette and guidelines that have been set up for us.
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