Saluting The Flag

September 30, 2008

It’s customary if you’re in the military, to stop whatever you’re doing and salute the American flag at any ceremny of hoisting or lowering the flag, at revelry or when it is passing by in a parade or review. For those who’ve spend time in the military and then gotten out, or retired, that habit is one that is difficult to break.

In the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, (Public Law 110-181) Congress changed Section 9, Title 4, US Code, that covers “Conduct during hoisting and lowering of passing of the flag.” Don’t hesitate to share this information with veterans you know, so that they’re aware of the change. The section of US Code that was changed, reads as follows:

“During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag, or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and Veterans who are present but not in uniform, may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Citizens of other countries present, should stand at attention. All such conduct toward the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the same moment as the flag passes.”1

I’ve often heard veterans express their desire to be authorized to salute the flag. Even though they’re retired or no longer in the military, doesn’t mean that their respect for our country and it’s symbol, the Stars and Stripes, is any less. This was a great move by Congress.

Army Echoes, Bulletin for Retired Soldiers & Families

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2 Responses to “Saluting The Flag”

  1. James W. Roberts CDR USN RET on November 2nd, 2008 11:49 am

    Thank you for the news.

    My question is; If I am covered with a hat or baseball hat, should I remove the hat and render the salute or salute with the ballcap on?

  2. Paul Ranges, SFC USA Ret. on November 11th, 2008 6:13 pm

    I had a chance to visit The Wall when it came to Willis, Texas last month. It felt good to salute during the ceremonies, and I did not even think of removing my cap, which is red, white and blue and says, “God Bless America”.

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