How to follow National Anthem Etiquette – What to do when someone is singing the Star Spangled Banner
Do you know how to follow National Anthem etiquette? What are you really supposed to do while someone is singing the Star Spangled Banner? Many people don’t follow flag etiquette procedure – Make sure you don’t fall in that bucket!
The United States Flag Code is a set of guidelines that lays forth proper American Flag etiquette for just about every scenario you can think of, including how to act during the singing of the National Anthem. Specifically we’ll look at Title 36 of the US Flag Code, Section 301.
Proper conduct during a rendition of the National Anthem, when the US flag is displayed:
- Everyone present, except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the American flag with the right hand placed over the heart.
- Those not in uniform should always remove their headdress (or anything on their head, such as a hat) and hold it at their left shoulder, with their right hand still over their heart.
- Men and women in uniform should give the military salute at the very beginning of the anthem and hold the position until the very end.
But what about if the National Anthem is being played but the US flag isn’t being displayed? If this is the case, then everyone should face toward the music and still follow the guidelines listed above, as if a flag were flying.
One of the most common places the National Anthem is sung is at sporting events – football, baseball, hockey, basketball, soccer games, etc. All the above rules apply while listening to the Star Spangled Banner as those various games. However, there are several other events where it’s critical to follow National Anthem Etiquette.
How familiar are you with the lyrics to the National Anthem, also known as the Star Spangled Banner? Here is a refresher on National Anthem Lyrics and some history behind the historic song.