Standing For The National Anthem Performance

by admin on November 12, 2013

Recently, my daughter’s high school choir and orchestra put on a concert. It was a lovely event with many talented performers. The audience was also fantastic; holding applause until the conductor indicated movements were finished, and no talking or cell phones going off.

There was one thing that left me wondering what the proper etiquette was, though. The first and second pieces the choir sang had the performers spread out through the entire auditorium, in the aisles and along the sides. Their second piece was “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Ordinarily, one would stand for this, but since the choir were standing throughout the house, if the entire audience stood no one would have been able to see any performers not directly in front of them. Several people in the back of the house did stand, but the rest of us remained seated.

There was no flag displayed in the auditorium, so I’m not sure if it’s covered by the Flag Code or not. I don’t have particularly strong feelings about the National Anthem, but I am curious whether it’s polite to remain seated in a situation like that. Is it more impolite to remain seated than to block the view of anyone not taller than oneself? 1031-13

 

An interesting question!   There is not only US flag and national anthem etiquette but how to respond to hearing the national anthem is a matter of US Legal Code.   According to 36 USC § 301 – National anthem

(a) Designation.— The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.

(b) Conducting 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.

It seems to me that the error in etiquette lies with the orchestra/choir director who did not research national anthem etiquette and protocol beforehand and choreographed it in such a way as to make it quite awkward for individuals to choose to stand during the playing and singing of the anthem as their conscience dictated.   People were placed in an awkward choice of either obstructing the performance or honoring a commitment to respect the national anthem.   This was a particularly difficult choice to put on veterans and military people in attendance as they are honor bound to behave in a prescribed manner upon hearing the playing of the national anthem.    Had this performance occurred at a military base, one would presume that the entire audience would have stood up at attention at the first notes of the anthem thus making it quite obvious to the performers and director that perhaps performing it in this manner was not the best way.

Bottom line:   People have the hard fought freedom to choose to not stand during the anthem but there should be no barriers, physical or socially, to people choosing to stand.

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

NostalgicGal November 12, 2013 at 5:48 am

If you have ever seen a movie on a military base, before that movie starts, they show the flag and play the national anthem. You bet everyone stands up if they possibly can, until that’s over.

I was taught if the flag was being raised or lowered, you stopped and took hat off if you had one on and held that over your heart or put your hand over your heart until that was done. If the flag is displayed you face that if you repeat the pledge of allegiance, or the national anthem was played. If there is no flag, and the anthem is played or the pledge of allegiance is done, you face forward.

The director/conductor was at the fault here; they thought it would be more dramatic but it was incorrect as people could not stand as was proper because of it. I do hope someone *nicely* brought it up with that person so that it wouldn’t happen again. Me, I would have stood and faced the stage where the group had been performing, if there was no flag to face.

Reply

Marie November 12, 2013 at 6:56 am

Now I’m curious as to what is the etiquette if you would be present during the National Anthem as a non-American citizen. For instance, if I ever go to vacation on America, would I be obliged to act the same as the Americans do when hearing the anthem?

On a whole other note: I keep on being suprised how Americans are so nationalistic.

Reply

The Elf November 12, 2013 at 8:29 am

The polite, respectful thing to do is to stand for the National Anthem, take off your hat, and put your hand over your heart/salute no matter what the circumstances of the performance. Exceptions for those unable to do those things, of course. But barring disability, not standing is more rude than blocking the view of the people behind you. I understand the conundrum, but I think National Anthem etiquette counts more than performance etiquette.

The director should have said “Please rise for the National Anthem” or something like what they do before sporting events.

I had an interesting National Anthem moment at M&T Bank stadium (where the Baltimore Ravens play). We had seats as far back as possible, so we could easily turn around and see the harbor (and Ft. McHenry). So as the Star Spangled Banner played, it suddenly occured to me that I was almost standing where it was written. Gave me chills.

Reply

Julia November 12, 2013 at 10:14 am

Marie, I would assume that non-citizens are exempt from Flag Code behavior (much the way that Americans do not have to curtsy to royalty). I think nationalistic is a bit harsh of a term, also, since this law is never enforced (for civilians anyway). I am an American, and I rarely stand for the anthem, since I usually hear it at sporting events and I don’t really think that it makes sense to play an anthem in that context – anecdotal evidence says I’m not alone in that opinion. If I’m seated near veterans (happened one time on vets-get-in-free night), I’ll stand just to be non-confrontational – I don’t care much for the anthem, but I also don’t want to insult people.

So that’s just my two cents!

Reply

Politrix November 12, 2013 at 10:43 am

To answer Marie #2,
You’re not required to stand during the playing of any country’s national anthem, but it’s the courteous thing to do. It just shows basic respect for the country your visiting, and its citizens. When I visited Taiwan many years ago, they played the national anthem before movies, concerts, or pretty much any public event (which they don’t do in the U.S., so I’m not sure what you’re basing your assumption on that we’re particularly “nationalistic”), and like everyone else around me, I would rise out of respect — but certainly no one expected me to actually sing the anthem!
FWIW, in the U.S. we are also expected to rise respectfully for the playing of another country’s national anthem, like when they perform “O Canada” during a hockey game, for example. Again, you are not required by law to do so, but unless you have a real grievance with that particular country and its government policies, and are intentionally trying to be rude, it’s courteous to stand during the anthem.
(That being said, back when I was in High School, it was suddenly decided one year that we had to start reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, after years of not doing so. I refused to follow along, and when my teacher threatened me with detention, I pointed out that according to our Constitution, it was well within my rights NOT to stand for the Pledge. My teacher grudgingly agreed to allow me to stay seated, as long as I didn’t create a disturbance or do other work while the Pledge was being recited. Maybe I’m being “nationalistic,” but one thing I love about my country is the fact that there are laws on the books that allow for dissent and difference of opinions. We’re not perfect, but at least we know it!)

Reply

Betsy November 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

Marie, I believe that the respectful thing to do is to stand but not salute during a national anthem played for any country. I think I’ve seen this done at the Olympics. I don’t know what country you are from, but I would do this out of respect for you and your country if I were visiting. And yes, we Americans are a bit nationalistic at times – for better or worse. Best wishes.

Reply

Jaxsue November 12, 2013 at 10:59 am

@Marie, I know it seems that US citizens are nationalistic, but it’s not true for all Americans. It can be regional, as well as other factors. I love my country (I have dual-citizenship, so maybe I should say “countries”), but I am not nationalistic. I have no problem with someone remaining seated during the National Anthem, but being respectful at the same time (quiet, etc.). I have some friends who are JWs, and they remain seated.

Reply

David November 12, 2013 at 11:11 am

I agree with the Ehell Dame – this was an etiquette mistake on the part of the conductor/choir director.

Reply

AthenaC November 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

Hi Marie,

I think it has to do with the fact that as Americans, what we ALL have in common is that we are a nation. We have diverse social, ethnic, religious (or lack thereof) backgrounds. So I think it makes sense that we put more emphasis on the one thing that unites us all.

Reply

BooHoo November 12, 2013 at 11:25 am

So here is an interesting question…Is it really our place to correct their incorrectness? At what point is our confronting them rude in and of itself?

I, and several like minded people in my circle of friends, do not say the pledge of allegiance. Some of us for religious reasons and others for political. Being as our refusal to recite the pledge is protected by the first amendment, is it really poor etiquette to not participate in nationalistic displays?

Reply

Lisa November 12, 2013 at 11:26 am

Regarding Marie, who asked if non-American citizens should stand for the anthem; in my own humble opinion I think it’s the polite thing to do.
My husband is a British citizen but has lived in the US for over 29 years and always stands when the anthem is played, and when we visit the UK, I would expect to do the same.

Reply

JenMo November 12, 2013 at 11:30 am

Marie, if I were in another country and everyone stood for a national anthem or whatever the case may be, I would simply stand with them as a gesture of respect. However, I wouldn’t do the hand over the heart (or anything similar/along those lines), which is meaningful to the nationals of that country but not myself. I think the etiquette is to be respectful, but stopping short of doing something that seems un-authentic.

Reply

Cat November 12, 2013 at 11:39 am

I can answer Marie. When in England, “God Save the Queen” was played. I stood with everyone else although I am in the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and am a eighth-generation American. My English friend asked why I stood up when it was not my national anthem.
I stand because I respect your beliefs. I would also stand for the Queen of England, not because I am one of her subjects, but because I believe that one should be respectful of the position one holds in the world. It would be childish to remain seated just to prove that I am not of that nationality.
My father always said, “You salute the uniform, not the man.”

Reply

Tracy November 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

I don’t understand why you felt you couldn’t stand up simply because the choir was in the audience? If the choir were on stage, you would still be blocking the view of anyone who chose to remain seated, so what’s the difference?

Reply

Ruby November 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Marie, the polite thing to do would be to simply stand. Remaining seated is an insult. You do NOT have to place your hand over your heart, though. Just stand out of respect, please.

Reply

Harley Granny November 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm

This was a very good question and Thanks Admin for looking it up.

Marie….I myself try to follow the example of those around me. When I go to Canada and I hear their Anthem, I do as they do. I feel it’s showing respect of the Country I’m in.

Reply

Ruby November 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Also, Marie, it’s unlikely you’d encounter a performance of the National Anthem. It’s played at school concerts and at sporting events.

Reply

Library Dragon November 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm

@ Marie. It’s polite to stand. At venues in other countries where the national anthem has been played the polite thing for me as a US citizen was to quietly stand. I didn’t sing the anthem (even if I knew the words). This has also been my experience at multi-national events when more than one anthem was played. Everyone stands and stays standing.

@OP. As recommended, commenting to the director your frustration calmly about not knowing the etiquette of the situation.

Reply

Miss Alex November 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm

@Marie: You are not obligated to stand up.

Reply

Calli Arcale November 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Marie — there is no expectation for foreign citizens to honor the US flag in this manner, nor should there be. It’s essentially a display of fealty, after all, so to a non-US person, standing for the US anthem could be construed as an insult to your own nation. Personally? I would not expect you to stand. If you were worried about being conspicuous and everybody else was standing, you could stand quietly, without your hand over your heart, but honestly? If I were you I would not stand during the Star Spangled Banner.

I think part of the reason for Americans being so overtly patriotic is that we divorced ourselves from monarchy so early, historically speaking. Everybody else was still very solidly monarchic. So the habits of showing fealty to a monarch were still pretty strong, and we had to come up with a substitute. The flag ended up being it.

Reply

Fred G November 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I am saddened to read the comments of people who have little regard for the anthem.

Reply

Danielle November 12, 2013 at 1:30 pm

My husband is in the Air Force; you better believe that we stand when we hear the anthem. In fact, on days that it’s particularly hard to get him out of bed, I just start singing it. :)

Reply

LizaJane November 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I don’t think I understand what is meant by “nationalistic”. Marie, can you help me here?

Reply

Jay November 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

If that’s part of the legal code, we do NOT have the hard-won freedom to choose not to stand. Mandatory.

Reply

Dee November 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm

@Marie – In my country (not US) we expect everyone to stand for our anthem. It’s considered the only polite thing to do. We once had an incident where some “visitors” attempted to remain seated during the anthem; the evil rays from our stink eyes eventually propelled them to a standing position.

I wonder, though, about the etiquette for the anthem if played, say, in a movie? If everyone in the theater then is compelled to stand? Surely there must be instances where the playing of the anthem is for entertainment and not meant to be taken seriously.

Reply

Rap November 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I would say that the flaw would be with the people who organized the concert – I’ve never heard of the Star Spangled Banner being performed in the *middle* of a concert (I do allow just because I’ve never seen it done, that doesn’t make it wrong). Usually, if it is going to be performed, it’s right at the start, and then people settle into their seats for the rest of the show. That could be what was throwing the audience off – if the concert has started and other songs are being performed, and if the conductor isnt saying “please rise for the national anthem” then people will be guided by the age old, “dont stand up and block someone’s view”rule.

Reply

Bibianne November 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I am not American… however my parents have taught my brother and I to stand for ANY national Anthem. Regardless of country. While I live in the US, I will stand at attention during the Anthem. It is a sign of respect. I do not however put my hand over my heart. That is reserved for my country.

Reply

admin November 12, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Doesn’t the audience stand during national anthems played during medal awards at the Olympics?

Reply

The Elf November 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Being non-Christian, when I recite the Pledge I keep silent for “under God”. I did get in trouble for that way back in middle school – despite the double whammy of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Really doesn’t help when you’re dealing with a “convert by the sword” type who probably should know that a public school is not a pulpit.

Reply

Anonymous November 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm

That’s interesting about the hands on heart, etc. I’m Canadian, and when our National Anthem is played, we just stand up and remove hats. Hair bands/headbands can stay on, as can turbans, hijabs, and other religious head coverings.

Reply

DanaJ November 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm

@Marie as mentioned by many above, it is a simpel courtesy to stand for the anthem of the host coutry you’re visiting, but I would also add to stand for the anthem of visitors when you’re coutry is the host. At inernational sporting events I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone stand for one national anthem but not the other.

@AthenaC The U.S. is considered a much more nationalistic country than most, including those that have more ethnic diversity such as Canada. As an ex-pat I actually find it a bit of a culture shock when I vreturn to the U.S. and see the extent of national pride that is on diplay. “Nationalistic” should not be considered an insult. It is a synonym for “patriotism” (although some do define it as “excessive patriotism”.)

Reply

Marozia November 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm

It’s regarded as respectful to stand for the National Anthem.
My husband is a Freemason and even with his back problems, he stands for the National Anthem and the toasting of our Queen.

Reply

NostalgicGal November 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm

@ Marie,

If’ it’s not your anthem, the polite is to rise if others are and be quiet. Just as if your anthem is played you would hope that others show the same respect.

I have both sung and been present at renditions of both the US and the Canadian anthems, on both the respective soils; and. That is the being polite. If it’s the US I will do hand over heart; if it’s Canadian, I will be quiet at least and respectful of those that it is theirs.

At the Olympics they will play the anthems of the winners, starting with the gold. While on the stand they are all supposed to be quiet and respectful, and when they get to the appropriate one, they should do their proper respect. Some years ago a few athletes showed poor courtesy by talking and moving about and such while another country’s anthem played, that was remembered. And someone apparently talked to them…as later in the games they were being QUIET during someone else’s playing.

Reply

NostalgicGal November 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm

@ The Elf,

Had that issue with an elementary teacher in the mid 70′s… she wanted to write scripture verses in the corner of the board and lead us in morning prayer-and most of us were not her faith. That happened for about a week, then she was informed she could NOT write the scripture on the board. She could have a few copies in her desk and share it if a student *asked* her, and not during class time. And her prayer session got converted to a moment or two of silence after the Pledge of Allegiance. If we wanted to pray we could, if we didn’t want to, we were to remain quiet and still to respect if someone did. We also had one student that did not want to recite the Pledge because of that line, and the solution was they had to stand; they did not have to recite the Pledge but they had to stand with the rest of us as respect. They decided to recite it and skip the ‘under God’ after about a week and it was fine with the rest of us. …so that is what we learned. Respect, tolerance, and the manners to be polite even if you didn’t agree.

Reply

Stacey Frith-Smith November 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I don’t know if there is a distinction when the anthem is played as a performance piece instead of as a participatory piece- that’s the only reason I can conceive of the logic in the layout of the singers and the expectation that people would remain seated as spectators instead of rising as they normally would. Perhaps his logic was flawed and this should never be treated as merely a performance piece to begin with?

Reply

Amanda H. November 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm

I find the responses to Marie interesting. For instance, Ruby (#15) says that to remain seated is an insult, yet Callie Arcale (#20) says that to stand could be an insult to your own country. Can’t win.

Personally, because of the freedoms we hold dear in this country, I would never think poorly of *anyone* who chooses not to stand for the national anthem. I don’t know if they’re from another country or disagree with certain sentiments or are uncomfortable or even incapable of standing for extended periods of time. It’s not my place to judge them for how they choose to respond when the anthem is played.

I went to a university that had a decent population of non-American students, which also played the anthem across the campus every morning and evening when they would raise and lower the flag outside the administration building. Many students would stop, turn to face the admin building (whether or not they could see it from where they were), and place their hand over their heart. Just as many would continue walking to wherever they were going, often including myself. This is not to say that I was intending to disrespect the flag or anthem or their meanings. This was because I had places I needed to go and certain time constraints to meet, and was excercising my freedom as an ordinary citizen to NOT stop.

If I were to visit other countries and their anthem be played, I would probably be one of those who would stand out of respect. But I’m not about to expect that of any visitors to the U.S., nor am I about to condemn those who choose to remain seated.

Regarding the situation in the OP, I agree with admin. Fault lies on the conductor’s head for arranging things such that it was frustrating for the audience to decide whether or not to stand. It would probably be nice to politely point out to the conductor the situation so s/he knows for next time.

Reply

FeatherBlade November 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm

@ The Elf:

At my school, several of us students stopped saying “indivisible” when we’d recite the Pledge, since it’s not true in any sense.

Come to think of it, I still don’t say “indivisible” ^_^

Reply

AS November 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Answering some of the questions- non-citizen Americans should stand in attention, and remove any head dress, when the American national anthem is being played/sung. But you don’t have to put your right hand on your chest (heart). It is common curtsey anyways, and one should stand in attention when ANY national anthem is being played (unless they are aware of any country-specific rule), no matter where they are in the world.

Another etiquette for foreign nationals is that whenever the national anthem of another country is played on US soil, it should be accompanied by the US national anthem. I don’t think the order matters though. (I think there are exceptions, like for example, during multinational sporting events like Olympics where the play the national anthem of only the gold medalist).

I am not sure though if foreign nationals are allowed to sing the US national anthem. I am a foreign national (married to an American), and I have been here for about a decade now. I know the wordings; and hence I sing while standing in attention. I am not sure if that is wrong.

Reply

Yvaine November 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I agree with Rap that the awkwardness seems to have been caused by sticking the anthem in the middle of the concert. It gives the impression that the aim is to appreciate the anthem as a piece of music rather than for its social/ritual role, and I’m not sure I’d know what to do either! It’s kind of like having the flag displayed in an exhibit of textile art, maybe.

Reply

Daria November 12, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Not standing so as to avoid blocking views of the performers is the incorrect choice. The anthem takes precedence over a few minutes of limelight for individual members of the choir.

That said, I agree that the music director gravely erred in both the timing and choreography of the anthem. But that would not have precluded me from according it the respect that etiquette demands.

Reply

ItsyBitsy November 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I am British. My husband and I lived in the States for several years and later on a US base in Japan when he was working in a liaison position there. We always stood up for the national anthem. It’s just common courtesy.
BTW I love The Star Spangled Banner and consider it to be one of the best anthems in the world. It gives me tingles and I’m not even American.

Reply

MsCopper November 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm

I once saw a Vet in a wheelchair lift himself out of his chair to stand for the National Anthem. It brought me to tears.. Whenever I hear the Anthem I still think of that man. You bet you sweet bippy I stand for our Anthem. I’m a huge hockey fan. If I’m at a game where my team plays a Canadian team I also remain standing for the Canadian Anthem as well. I see it as a sign of respect.

Reply

Ruby November 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm

AS, only men are expected to remove their hats. Women are not.

Also, foreign nationals can sing the anthem if you want! But most people just listen to whoever is singing it or playing it rather than sing along.

Reply

Kate November 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm

@Marie, when I was in the US, I went to an ice hockey game and they played the national anthem. I stood up, but I didn’t do the hand on the heart thing – forgive my ignorance, but I honestly thought that was some over-the-top thing that you only saw on movies about the army and that nobody actually did it. It is just not done here in Australia (we do stand for Advance Australia Fair though).

Reply

LizaJane November 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm

DanaJ, thanks for the explanation. I still find Marie’s comment odd. I love my country, without loving everything it’s done. I would think others would mostly feel the same.

Reply

AthenaC November 12, 2013 at 10:57 pm

@DanaJ – Thanks for the perspective. Now I’m wondering if it’s a combination of our diversity AND the various 9/11/01 sentiments of “we as a nation are under attack!” relatively recent in our national memory.

@ others – I don’t find Marie’s comment “odd.” I appreciate her perspective, especially since she wasn’t rude or insulting.

Reply

LilPrettyWonder November 12, 2013 at 11:36 pm

In contrast to Marie, I’ve always thought that US citizens are not very “nationalistic” at all. But I know now that that comes from the diversity of people here and in reading what some of the comments here say is an attribute of the freedoms that we have as citizens of this country.

Reply

Ange November 12, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Honestly I wouldn’t hold it against anyone who didn’t stand for any anthem but I would and have stood for anthems of other countries. The London Paralympics had a great way to deal with it, they simply asked: ‘ladies and gentlemen, we ask that those of you who are able please stand for the anthem of….’. It sorted the etiquette issue perfectly and reminded me not to question why others might not stand.

Reply

hakayama November 13, 2013 at 12:32 am

Let me add some random thoughts and comments to the subject of flags, anthems, expressions of patriotic feelings, etc.
It’s great that a poster did clarify that the taking off one’s hat applied to males only. A sort of parallel to entering some religious buildings: men removing their head covering as a sign of respect, women covering their head as a sign of modesty.
Of course, I also cringe when “guys”, y’know, the ones that wear duckbills backward ;-), do not take off said duckbills when entering a home or restaurant…
Raised in the Old World spirit of respect for symbols of a country or religion, I follow appropriate respectful behavior without question. That is why I preferred not to use postage stamps with a flag: I hated the thought of it winding up on the floor, to be trod upon. You just don’t step on sacred symbols. The change in rules regarding flying of the flag, resulted in people just letting it be out, rain or shine, day and night, getting dirty and ragged. It hurts. Perhaps even more than the rebellious protesters burning flags…
Same degree of respect goes for the anthem, so having it played before such mundane events like a match between teams A and B, just doesn’t sit well. At least I don’t witness THAT since I don’t “do” spectator sports.
However, the relentless everyday recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools, really was a source of much discomfort for me. It was totally meaningless, something the students did mechanically, just to get it over with. A gesture empty and pointless because of its daily routine, rather than a special important occasion like a national holiday… A recitation with no more meaning than the daily brushing of teeth.
BTW: the “under God” clause did not make its way into the Pledge until the Cold War. I guess it was meant to show those “Godless Commies” a thing or two… Yup! I can see where Animists and Atheists can have a problem here, but it should not be one for members of the three major monotheistic groups. Isn’t it the same God that is worshiped? Just in somewhat different ways?
And yes, Kate, you are not the only one that sees/makes the distinction between inner feelings and “over-the-top” demonstrative practices of flag waving.
There’s nationalism, and there’s jingoism. I recall vividly when after 9/11 there was a lot of shouting about “being proud to be American”. And then, there were sane and sober people that said that an accident of birth in this country should not be enough to be a source of pride… Think about it.

Reply

AirForceBrat November 13, 2013 at 3:40 am

Twenty-three years as a air force dependent and I didn’t know it was that complicated. I just knew you stand when the anthem was played. Every installation we have been at they play the anthem once a day, usually at the pm rush hour. Overseas they play the host nations anthem also; that was sometimes confusing in the UK because “God Save the Queen” is the same as “My Country tis of Thee” you end up with one or the other stuck in you head. After so many years of being caught outside I know to face a flag. You can only get told off by a passing vet for looking an errant gaze so many times.

As far as no-citizens go we have one of them as well. My mom if from the UK she tends to go with standing in silent irritation. She’s 26 years of military patriotism by the time my dad retitled. She isn’t particularly patriotic to the UK so she isn’t to thrilled with the Air Force brand of nationalism. But she stands politely when the stars and stripes play’s. As someone noted they play it before movies at the base theater. At at every base function. It’s mostly about respect, you wouldn’t want an American (or group of yank’s) to an event in your country and sit through your national anthem.now would you?. (My mother wouldn’t so much care,but that’s her)

Reply

Kirsten November 13, 2013 at 4:19 am

I’m not American and I stand for my national anthem and that of the country’s being played, out of respect. Watch the Six Nations when Ireland are playing, this means standing for three national anthems. I don’t do the ‘hand on heart’ thing though, that’s not what happens in my country.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: