Do you follow proper National Anthem Etiquette? Here’s what to do when you hear the singing of the National Anthem at a sporting event.
Almost halfway through the baseball season and nearing the beginning of football season, game day rituals are in full force. A common game day ritual, prior to the start of any sporting event, is singing the National Anthem. (Read more about the National Anthem Lyrics & History) What is the proper etiquette during the singing of the National Anthem?
According to the United States Flag Code, “When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.” Unless a military member in uniform, citizens should stand at ‘salute’ by placing their hand over their heart, facing the American Flag.
Near the end of last football season, Carolina Panthers tight end Jeremy Shockey publicly made it clear how proper etiquette for the singing of the National Anthem is necessary to show respect for the flag and those who fought for it. He criticized several Houston Texan players for not putting their hand over the heart as the National Anthem was performed.
The same case was true on the night of Super Bowl XLVI. As Kelly Clarkson sang her rendition of the National Anthem, the camera panned across a sold out Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Several players, coaches and fans did not have their hands over the hearts while the anthem was performed. New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin set a good example of how his team should pay tribute during the National Anthem’s, facing the American Flag and saluting.