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Besides the Pledge, What songs are you suppose to put your hand over your heart?...
  1. #1
    tombrink Guest

    Default When to put your hand over your heart

    Besides the Pledge, What songs are you suppose to put your hand over your heart?

  2. #2
    Peter Ansoff is offline USA Flag Site Admin
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    Default Re: When to put your hand over your heart

    The US Code (Titles 4 and 36) specifies four circumstances for rendering the hand-over-heart salute:

    1. When the US flag is raised or lowered
    2. When the US flag is carried past in a review or parade
    3. When reciting the pledge of allegiance
    4. When the national anthem is played

    The saluter should face the flag in all cases. If the national anthem is played when the flag is not displayed, the saluter should face the source of the music.

    Peter Ansoff

  3. #3
    MaryM is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy Re: When to put your hand over your heart

    Hi, I'm new to this site. The National Athem etiquette is lost on Americans today. Since it was a long time since my school days I am here checking out this question. Much has been said about our candidates stance when the anthem is played. Here I find your answers are still the same as when I was a kid growing up. Just this past Friday in an open field for a local cancer survivors celebration I found people when the singing started, they continued walking around, talking to each other, some were just standing still, while others were standing still with their hand over their heart. Others will still looking at vendor items.

    When my son was in high school (in the 80's) I happened to be there in school. The athem was played over the loud speaker, and I was the only one who stopped and stood at attention. The school personnel did not stop what they were doing, children came in for whatever reason, walked about and left. I was the only one who was at attention. We need to have our schools teach the children these things. As witnessed in the field on Friday, most everyone seemed not to care about it. It only takes a few minutes to respect the anthem while it is being played.

  4. #4
    chardcole is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: When to put your hand over your heart

    There is a lot of flack right now because Barak Obama did not put his hand over his heart during the playing of our national anthem. I was taught many years ago that you quietly stand at attention with your hands down during the playing of the music or that you sing along if asked to do so. The same is true when the flag passes by as in a parade. Many people my age do not put their hands over their hearts except when saying the Pledge of Allegience to the Flag because that's the way we were taught. I would imagine Obama follows that same stance. I have no idea if or when the rules were changed and would like to know.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: When to put your hand over your heart

    im not going to comment on Obama - cos u wont like it.

    but the flag code has'nt changed since the 1940s.... and that always said the put your hand over your heart when the anthem is played and face the flag... if no flag present face the source of the music.

  6. #6
    ginlew is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: When to put your hand over your heart

    Is there any source that states absolutely what the proper etiquette is for placing the hand over the heart during the playing or singing of the anthem?

  7. #7
    Peter Ansoff is offline USA Flag Site Admin
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    Default Re: When to put your hand over your heart

    Hi. The etiquette is spelled out in Title 36 Subtitle 1, Para. 301 of the US Code:

    During a rendition of the national anthem—
    (1) when the flag is displayed— (A) all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart;
    (B) men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
    (C) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and
    (2) 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.

    There's a different section of the US code (Title 4 Chapter 1, Section 9) that gives the proper way to salute when the flag is raised, lowered, or passes in a parade. That title used to have basically the same language as the above. Title 4 was amended by Congress earlier this year to allow military personnel and veterans to give the military salute even if they were not in uniform. However, Congress did not make the corresponding change to Title 36. Technically, a military person or veteran wearing civilian clothes can give the military salute when the flag passes, but not when the national anthem is played!

    I hope this answers your questions. Welcome to the forum!

    Peter Ansoff
    Armymom2012 likes this.

  8. #8
    ginlew is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: When to put your hand over your heart

    Thank you so much. My very liberal 22-yr-old college senior great-niece insisted, as we watched Michael Phelps receiving one of his medals, with his hand over his heart,that it was no longer required that you place your hand over your hearts. She said it in a very superior tone, which challenged me to challenge her. I now know that despite what she thinks...she's wrong! Too bad our young people are either not being taught about our traditions---or are being brainwashed in an anti-patriotic direction.

  9. #9
    Peter Ansoff is offline USA Flag Site Admin
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    Default Re: When to put your hand over your heart

    Glad to help! Of course, just because the flag code says it doesn't mean that it's "required." The flag code is just a set of guidelines that describes the applicable customs and traditions.

    Best,

    Peter Ansoff

  10. #10
    zimtekcom is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: When to put your hand over your heart

    I've been watching National Conventions (both), and witnessed most everyone placing their hand over their heart during our national anthem. I thought "why are they doing that?". So I started to do some research on what is proper and customary, which eventually brought me here to this site.

    In the 1960s and 70s when I attended public school, we recited the Pledge of Allegiance everyday, with hand over heart. I remember very specifically not placing hand over heart, but standing silently with respect during the National Anthem. Were we wrong, or do I not remember properly?

    In my research I managed to find the legislation that regulates these things. The effective date appears to be on January 2nd 2006.

    US CODE: Title 36,301. National anthem

    Can anyone tell me how long this legislation has read this way?

    --Thanks--

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