Discussion in 'Other US Flag Etiquette' started by EmailPoster, Jun 6, 2006.
When is it proper to place your hand over your heart?...
Although many people simply stand when the National Anthem is sung, this is poor flag etiquette. You should salute the flag as it passes--this means hand over heart by citizens and formal salute by those in military uniform. The flag show also be saluted when raised or lowered and when the leader of the event salutes.
When the National Anthem is played, citizens should stand and hold their hand over their heart beginning with the first note and holding throughout the song until the very last note. Those not in military uniform should remove their hats. Face and salute the flag unless there is none, in which case you should face and salute in the direction of the music.
Those who are not US citizens should stand at attention in respect, but are not required to salute in any way.
Hope this helps!
Hi Violette and Allison,
I would like to clarify a few things for you. The saluting of the flag should only be done by military members in uniform, and when outdoors. Indoors, military members should stand at attention but not salute...the only time military members usually salute indoors is when reporting to a superior or while standing in formation indoors.
I know it can be confusing for folks who have no military experience. I'm just glad to see people care enough to ask the question!
What about if you're the one singing the song? Should you still put your right hand over your heart?
No - if your the one singing - or performing it - you do not have to put your hand over your heart
Hello, KatieGirl626 !
Back in my younger days (WAY younger!) when I was a professional entertainer, I used to occasionally sing the National Anthem ("The Star Spangled Banner") at the start of athletic events, etc.
As I sang the National Anthem, I'd face the Flag, hold the microphone in my left hand, and put my right hand over my heart. I can't tell you if that is the officially "correct" way or not. I can tell you, however, that at the time, it was "correct" for ME.
I mean, it felt "right", and I wasn't really worried about the "Patriot Police" hunting me down and arresting me.
Putting one's hand over one's heart is a nice but relative new thing. It as "always" been considered respectable to take off one's hat and stand at "attention", but in my over 40 years the only time that place my hand over my heart is during the pledge.
Re: Settle an argument
My Grandson's both play High School and College baseball and every time the National Anthem is played, both teams remove their hats and place them behind them, with neither team holding their hat over their heart.
Being I am an Ex-Navy patriot, I feel this is wrong and my Daughter disagrees with me that this is not protocol nor does it show disrespect to the flag or the anthem. I take the opposite view.
Can you help?
Hello, jmesr15 !!!
Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site Forums !!!
Maybe THIS will help clear things up for your family members and the teams they play on. NOTE: When the Code mentions "Individuals In Uniform" I believe that it is referring to members of the MILITARY in military uniforms, and possibly public safety personnel (police, fire, EMTs, etc.).
This is a direct Copy/Paste of the United States Code, Title 36, Section 301 "National Anthem" as it appears on the following USHistory.org webpage :
United States Code Title 36
Â§301. National anthem
Designation. â€” The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.
Conduct During Playing â€” During rendition of the national anthem â€”
when the flag is displayed â€”
individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
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
all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.
I hope that helps. If you'd like to be a little more well-informed regarding the Flag and the etiquette/protocols surrounding it, feel free to use the link provided above to read up and learn more about it.
And of course, if you (or any of your Family Members or Friends) have any additional Flag-related questions come right back here to the USA-Flag-Site forums and ASK !!!
THANK YOU for bringing your Flag-related question to our Forums !!!
Eugene, Oregon, USA
"I would like to clarify a few things for you. The saluting of the flag should only be done by military members in uniform, and when outdoors. Indoors, military members should stand at attention but not salute...the only time military members usually salute indoors is when reporting to a superior or while standing in formation indoors.
I know it can be confusing for folks who have no military experience. I'm just glad to see people care enough to ask the question!"
Just wanted to add an update to this. About three years ago congress passed a bill which allows prior service members, wearing civilian clothes, the option of placing the hand over the heart or a military style salute when the colors pass and during the National Anthem, whether indoors or outdoors.
Greetings, jkgeary! Welcome to the forum.
This topic has been discussed in some detail here, and it's actually just a bit more complicated than that. See this thread:
Especially the series posted on 8/31/09.
I received your answer and it pertained to military. My question; is it protocol for the general public to show respect to the flag when it passes or during the National Anthem by placing their hand over their heart?
Simple answer : Yes.
Not so simple answer : RE-read this entire thread (including entry #9 written to you from me over a month ago) and/or the pretaining portions of the U.S. Code that deal with such matters.
Eugene, Oregon, USA
I know service men and women salute when in uniform, former Marine myself.
But how does it affect members of the Boy Scouts? The way I understand it a uniformed scout salutes the flag.
Also as I understand it, everyone should stand hand over heart or a salute when that flag is moving with the anthem or not. i.e. parade
In the Marines it was face the direction of the music and salute if you couldn't see the flag.
As for hats it goes, hat over left shoulder hand over heart. I think someone had posted that already.
But flag visible or not, should one salute for the anthem?
This is a great forum, awesome to have all this info. Thank you for any replies.
Boy Scout Assistant Scoutmaster here.
The BSA Class A uniform is considered a recognized and official uniform by the US.
Therefore, Boy Scouts, in full uniform are allowed to and required to salute the flag ( using the Boy Scout salute )
Girl Scouts, however, do not have a recognized and official uniform according to the govenment, and may not and should not salute. They may however, give the Girl Scout sign during the Pledge and the like, rather than hand over the heart.
just noticed the other part of your question.
If the flag is not visible, during the anthem, you, depending on your uniform, either salute or place your hand over your heart, and face the direction that the music is coming from.
The BSA Class A uniform is considered a recognized and official uniform by the US.
Well, not exactly. Title 10 of the US code states that it's illegal for persons who are not on active duty in the military to wear military uniforms or parts of uniforms. The law contains a list of exclusions to the ban, saying that Reservists, members of the National Guard, veterans, actors portraying military personnel, etc., can wear military uniforms on appropriate occasions. The same law says that "A person in any of the following categories may wear the uniform prescribed for that category", and lists "Members of the Boy Scouts of America" as one of the categories. The reason for this provision was that the early Boy Scout uniform was very similar to US Army uniforms; the exception made it clear that Boy Scouts were allowed to wear such uniforms. This doesn't make the BSA uniform any more "official" than other organizations' uniforms; it just says that it's legal to wear it. This issue never arose with Girl Scout uniforms, because they don't resemble US military uniforms.
Therefore, Boy Scouts, in full uniform are allowed to and required to salute the flag ( using the Boy Scout salute ). Girl Scouts, however, do not have a recognized and official uniform according to the govenment, and may not and should not salute.
This is not true, at least not according to the Flag Code. The Flag Code says that persons "in uniform" render the military salute, and was recently modified to allow military personnel and veterans to do so when not in uniform. The "in uniform" reference was clearly intended to apply to the military, but civilian uniform-wearing organizations (police forces, for example) often follow the same protocol. The Flag Code does not give the Boy Scouts any special status in this respect. Of course, the Boy Scouts (and the Girl Scouts as well!) are free to make their own regulations. The "Flag Ceremonies" page of the official Girl Scouts web site specifies that their color guard salutes the flag.
I'm not sure what the point of disagreement is?
Either you are 'In uniform' or you are not.
Girl Scouts do not have a recognized uniform. Boy Scouts do.
"I'm not sure what the point of disagreement is?
Either you are 'In uniform' or you are not."
Employees at McDonald's restaurants wear uniforms.
Try applying the flag code to that.
Well, when the US code includes McDonalds uniforms as "Uniforms" then by all means they can salute.
Until then, uniforms are limited to whatever the United States Code says.
Specifically, 10 USC, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 45, Sections v771 v772.
Separate names with a comma.