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I am a true patriot.  I actually get out of my chair in my home office when I hear the National Anthem and move into the family room to stand respectfully and listen.  Yes….this is a “sports home” around here and my husband and son are ALWAYS watching SOMETHING that usually involves the National Anthem….and in this house…we respect that.  So…stop chomping on your Doritos, take off your team’s hat, and take a moment to STAND…and LISTEN…it’s quite beautiful and moving to listen to our National Anthem. 

Now…enough about how we do it at home….what about the teams…the coaches….the fans…the media? How can I raise and teach my son to respect the National Anthem if while he is standing and listening, he sees players chewing gum (or chew), or scratching (yep, I’ve seen it), or worse yet, chattering to a player next to them (seen that too).  

What about the fans?  I seriously despise when all the fans begin to rant and rave and cheer before the National Anthem has finished.  I don’t care how excited they are about the game…really…you can’t wait for the final two lines before you drown out the vocalist.  It’s not about their talent…or stardom…it’s about The Anthem. 

Can we just get back to place of respect…less than 3 minutes of our time…to respectfully listen, imagine, and view…Old Glory…with all the respect she deserves. 

With a range of one and a half octaves, it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the song has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today, with the fourth (“O! thus be it ever when free men shall stand…”) added on more formal occasions.[2] The fourth stanza includes the line “And this be our motto: In God is our Trust”.[3] The United States adopted “In God We Trust” as its national motto in 1956.  (Source – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner). 

So….I give you…my own etiquette tips for the National Anthem:

  • Remove your hat – male or female:  Yes, in the old days women didn’t have to do so…but hats were pinned and tethered and formal….nowadays, girls/women are wearing team caps, remove them.
  • If you are wearing a hat, place the hat across your heart with the inside of the hat facing your heart.
  • Address the flag – and no one or anything else.
  • Stop chewing.
  • Stop talking.
  • Stop moving/rocking.
  • Military members in uniform will salute the flag from the first note of the National Anthem until the last note is played.
  • Military members NOT in uniform, may also salute the flag throughout the Anthem.
  • All others will place their right hand over their heart for the duration of the Anthem.
  • Sing along if you desire – it will bring you closer to the history.  Do not be intimidated by celebrity power singers.  Contrary to some of them making it all about themselves, it is not…it is for you to honor your country… so please – sing along. It was stated in the 1942 National Anthem Committee, which wrote, “Since the message of the music is greatly heightened by the test, it is of paramount importance that emphasis be placed upon the singing of the National Anthem.”
  • While there is no “legal punishment” for NOT upholding these rules of etiquette, it is about “respect” so, put out the cigarette, put down your soda or beer, put your hand or your hat over your heart, eyes on the flag, and sing your heart out!

 

 

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