Place hand on heart to honor American flag

As a veteran of WWII, I am honored to proudly march in the Color Guard during the annual Memorial Day parade in Bay Village. On this special day, in which we honor our veterans, I thought I'd list the correct protocol for those observing the parade as the Color Guard carrying the American flag passes by.

Protocol for Honoring our American Flag

When the American flag is displayed with a Color Guard during a parade or other formal type ceremony, those observing this function should: stand at attention; remove their hats; and place their right hand over their heart (if wearing a hat, hold the hat over one's heart with the right hand). After the Color Guard passes or the ceremony finishes, one may return to the previous stature or position.

An updated rule for past or present military service men and women: If not attired in a military uniform, they are now permitted to execute a right hand salute observing the presence of our flag or other military ceremony.  

These expectations should be observed by all American citizens, unless he or she is physically handicapped. These same expectations should also be observed when the Pledge of Allegiance is recited during performances of our national anthem, the bugle calls “To the Colors” and taps, and during a 21-gun salute.

We are honoring veterans that served our country during the conflicts that have caused us to enlist the help of our military forces. 

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:41 AM, 05.19.2015