I attended a football game Saturday afternoon, and as always, prior to the start of the game, the National Anthem was sung. I was shocked and disappointed to see a few individuals who chose to disrespect this sign of patriotism. A couple a few rows in front didn’t stand and did not stop talking. Finally, as the singer reached the final lines of the anthem, the male stood up. Meanwhile, a family and their four children, all the while chatting loudly, continued to look for their seats, completely ignoring the national anthem and never pausing to show respect to our country or to the others sitting nearby.
Really?…. Even if you hate the song, or your religious beliefs prevent you from recognizing this act of patriotism, (Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to salute the flag of any nation, recite the pledge of allegiance, stand for or sing the national anthem, run for public office, vote, or serve in the armed forces), Congress officially made the “The Star-Spangled Banner” the national anthem in 1931, so get a grip people and at least be respectful to those who do wish to display their patriotism. If you don’t want to stand, at least be quiet so others can listen and enjoy!
Congress addresses etiquette during the playing of the National Anthem in 36 United States Code 301 as follows:
A. Designation – The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star Spangled Banner is the National Anthem,
B. Conduct During Playing – During the rendition of the National Anthem
When the flag is displayed
A. Individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
B. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
C. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
D. 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.
So, is it rebelliousness or ignorance that causes this disrespectful behavior? Regardless, it is only a couple of minutes out of your “game day experience”, so PLEASE people, get up and show some respect. Really!