Did you know this?
According to U.S. law, a civilian like Obama is supposed to stand up when the anthem is played, take off his hat, face the flag, and put his right hand over his heart.
I did not know this.Â I’d always assumed that the highest authority in the matter of what to do was social convention.
Uh, unless that’s a recent law I dispute it’s existence. It certainly was law (well, military code, specifically) that meant that US military personnel, in uniform or in civillian clothing had to salute the flag if in uniform and stand with hand over heart and cap removed if in civilian clothing. It was one of the ways we could id fellow military in a crowd in the 1980s. The real civilians did not have to do the hand over heart part. Active duty and veterans usually did.
Nope, that law has been around longer than both of us, I’d say. Here for the law, and click on notes for the history. There were some changes to that section made in the 50s and 70s, but I can’t sort out exactly what.
Of course, it goes without saying that it’s an unconstitutional law (as applied to civilians). But a law nonetheless.
(And speaking of the military and the 80s, every once in a while I can hear retreat being played at Ft. Meyer. Apparently I’ve got a built in impulse to stop whatever I’m doing . . .).
I didn’t think of it as a law, but we had to do this when I lived on a Coast Guard base (Governor’s Island, off of Manhattan) as a kid. There were a few songs played through the day (Reveille at 6am, the Anthem at 8am, and Taps at 10 I think? – maybe more? I feel like there was one at 6 or 8 pm too), and when they played if you were outside you had to face the flag and put your hand on your heart and stand still/not talk etc. It was a big deal.
Retreat was usually played at 5p. On Army bases, at least. Whole place comes to a standstill.
And then resumes.
Really good and really interesting post. I expect (and other readers maybe :)) new useful posts from you!
Good luck and successes in blogging!
The “civilian salute,” right hand over the heart, is a salute of the FLAG, not the national anthem. If a flag is brought to the foreground (as opposed to just flying over a stadium) and presented to the audience, it should be saluted, inclding during the anthem, or until it is retired. But the anthem by itself is not an occasion that requires (by accepted “Flag Code” etiquette) a salute.
TITLE 36 > Subtitle I > Part A > CHAPTER 3 > Â§301
(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.
The “civilian salute” is not for just when there is a flag present as you said, it is also for when the anthem is played and no flag is present.
I didnâ€™t think of it as a law, but we had to do this when I lived on a Coast Guard base (Governorâ€™s Island, off of Manhattan) as a kid.
Same Here, “Iâ€™d always assumed that the highest authority in the matter of what to do was social convention.