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Saluting the Flag

Saluting Image

To salute the flag, all persons come to attention. All persons in uniform should give the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may also render the military salute. All other persons should salute by placing their right hand over their hearts. Men wearing a head covering (a hat, cap or other headwear) are to remove it. Women do not have to remove their head covering.

In parades or reviews, at the moment the flag passes, each individual should stand at attention facing the flag and salute.

The Flag of the United States is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of the national anthem, whichever is longer.

When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute by placing their right hand over their heart at the first note and holding the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music. If in uniform, the person should salute in the formal manner. It is proper to salute wherever the national anthem is played, for instance, on a college campus, in a public park, in a church, at a ball game, sports event, etc.

When, on U.S. soil, the national anthem of more than one nation is played, the visitors’ national anthems are played first, and may or may not be followed by our National Anthem.  During the visitors’ anthems, all present should stand at attention and face the flags of the nations (or the music, if they are not present).  Men not in uniform should remove their hats as well.

We contacted the Institute of Heraldry (Army) regarding the rendering of a salute during anthems of other nations.  They did not have an official answer to this question but commented that they felt it would be appropriate for U.S. citizens to salute only during the playing of our National Anthem.  We concur with that recommendation.

To salute a flag in a moving column, it is proper to start the salute as the flag enters your position and end when it has passed..

When the Pledge of Allegiance is recited, citizens should stand at attention and salute by placing their right hand over the heart with the first word and hold the salute through the last line of the Pledge. The salute is directed to the flag by facing it during the Pledge.

Saluting Image


Saluting Image