Veteran says citizens should respect flag and anthem

As more and more NFL and other sports teams decide to kneel or show other signs of disrespect for our flag and national anthem, I bring to all citizen’s attention the U.S. Code 36:


The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.

(b)Conduct During Playing.—During a rendition of the national anthem—

(1)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

(2) 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.”

As a veteran of 31 years in the U.S. Army including combat tours in Vietnam and Iraq, I am pained by the lack of respect shown for our flag and our national anthem. My most poignant combat recollection was the day we loaded 33 flag-draped coffins into a C-130 in Pleiku, RVN and sent them on their journey back to the USA. It doesn’t seem unusual nor over-reaching to expect U.S. citizens to give proper respect to the men and women who have given their lives to defend our freedoms and way of life. There are certainly other avenues to protest government policies and/or laws and/or regulations.

Harlan Lawson, Moriarty