Memorial Day: U.S. Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, & National Anthem Etiquette

National Anthem:

  1. As soon as you hear an announcement that the National Anthem is about to be played or sung, stand up. If you have a hat on, remove it. This etiquette applies to both men and women if the woman is wearing a unisex or sports hat (ball cap). Ladies-only decorative hats (like you see worn at the Kentucky Derby) can be left on, as of course can any uniform hats of performers or flag-bearers. Sunglasses need to come off too.
  2. No talking, eating or drinking during the anthem.
  3. After the song is completed, it’snot proper to applaud. So wait a beat before the thunderous applause for the game that might be about to get underway.

Pledge of Allegiance:

  1. Look at the flag as the Pledge is said, right hand over your heart.
  2. Say the Pledge out loud with the rest of those gathered, and follow pretty much all the aforementioned Anthem protocol.

U.S. Flag:

  1. Any time you’re at an event (a parade, football game half-time show, Boy or Girl Scout ceremony, church or school event, or such) and the flag passes you, stand up as you see it come into your line of vision. Follow all the protocols of listening to the National Anthem listed above. And remain standing until the flag has passed you and your family or group.
  2. Light must always shine on our flag. It must never fly in darkness. If you have one flying outside your home, either lower it and bring it inside before sunset each evening or have a light installed to shine on it throughout the night.
  3. When displayed on a wall, the flag may be hung either vertically or horizontally. In either case, the stars should be at the top and to the observer’s left.

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