I Still Hold My Hand Over My Heart For The National Anthem!!!

The decision to place your hand over your heart during the national anthem is a personal one and can vary based on cultural, social, and individual beliefs. In some countries, placing the hand over the heart during the national anthem is a common sign of respect and patriotism. However, customs and practices related to national anthems can differ across cultures and may change over time. It’s important to be mindful of the traditions and expectations in the specific context in which the national anthem is being played.

The hand over the heart thing has a long an confusing history.

The 1931 law that established the Star Spangled Banner as our national anthem did not specify any particular behavior during the playing of the anthem.

In June 1942, the law was revised specifying that men in uniform should salute, men not in uniform should stand at attention and remove their hats and women should place their hand over their heart if the flag was on display during the playing of the anthem but not if the flag wasn’t on display.

 

In December 1942, the law was again revised to say that men and women should stand at attention and face the direction from which the music was played, placing their hands over their hearts if the flag was displayed but not if it wasn’t displayed. People in uniform should salute.

In 1976 the law was again rewritten so that everyone not in uniform should stand with their hands over their hearts, men taking off their hats, whether the flag was displayed or not. People in uniform should salute.

In 1998 they kept the bit about everyone standing with the hand over their heart, but the “those in uniform should salute” piece was replaced with “members of the Armed Forces and veterans” should salute whether the flag was displayed or not.

So yeah, we’re all supposed to put our hand on our heart or salute when the anthem is played.

I was not raised to do that and I never saw anyone put their hand over their heart until after 9/11. I still don’t do it. I stand at attention as I was taught when I was a child. And I don’t feel bad about it, especially when I’m surrounded by guys and girls wearing hats while they piously hold their hand over their hearts.

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