Forwarded by William Thompson
From the conduct of many people during public functions these days, one may wonder if the average person knows the rules, i.e., the law, (yes, there is a law) regarding proper respect for and display of the U.S. Flag and playing of the National Anthem.
Most of us learned this as a youth in school. All who served in the military know it because it is a fundamental part of daily military life and routine.
Since December 22, 1942 Public Law 829; Chapter 806, 77th Congress, 2nd session states the exact rules for use and display of the flag (36 U. S. C. 173-178) as well as associated sections (36 U. S. C. 171) Conduct
during Playing of the National Anthem, (36 U. S. C. 172) the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Here are some applicable excerpts of that law:
United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 - The Flag
§4. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.
§9. Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag
During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute. When not in uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention. The salute to the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.
§301. National anthem; Star-Spangled Banner
The composition consisting of the words and music known as The Star-Spangled Banner is designated the national anthem of the United States of America.
Conduct during playing.
During rendition of the national anthem
When the flag is displayed:
All present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart; 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 individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; 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. [viz. with the right hand over the heart]