ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Canada's National Anthem: Be Respectful, Whether You Stand, Sit, Or Kneel

Updated on November 4, 2018
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.

Up To Five Minutes Out Of The Day - That's It


Respectful Freedoms

When the Canadian national anthem comes on our morning announcements, I expect two things of students - removal of hats, and quiet.

That's it.

Students can choose, if they're able, whether or not to stand. That's a matter of physical capability and a matter of belief. My understanding is there are some religious beliefs that might preclude whether or not someone can or should stand for a national anthem, and I respect that. I also respect a student's right to choose, as Colin Kaepernick has done, whether or not to kneel during the performance of the anthem. In Kaepernick's case, and that of other athletes who have joined him to much divisiveness in the United States, my understanding is he is taking a knee for two reasons - because it is a gesture of greater respect and to protest the treatment of African Americans by police forces in the States.

Regardless of your belief or ability to stand for the national anthem, the people who kneel or even sit due to personal conviction or physical ability are doing so respectfully. They are not sitting there checking their phones for social media updates; they aren't texting their partners or kids various messages; they aren't taking selfies. They're quiet until the anthem is finished, and then they go about what they came to do.

In the case of the Canadian national anthem, the most common version played has a runtime of about a minute and a half. If a version with all four verses is played, you're looking at about four and a half minutes or more.

There are people who will sit and whisper to each other for the duration of the anthem, which I have never understood. I don't care if it's the anthem for your country or for someone else's; this is not a pop song that's being played for money. It's not a concert that's brought the world to a halt; it's an anthem that takes anywhere from one and a half to five minutes out of your day to sit or stand quietly for.

We are not so busy that we can't take that time to stop whatever it is we're doing to show that little bit of respect. Sit or kneel if you need to - we can only do what we can do, right? Even if you're refraining from standing for the anthem due to a desire to protest, take a signal from those who are also protesting and still maintain that respectful posture. While soldiers did fight for your country, they also fought for your right to protest whatever's going on, so make sure you're respectful about it by being quiet, removing your hat, and staying off your phone.

We're coming up fast on Remembrance Day - Veterans' Day for the United States. While I do understand the uproar about people taking a knee to an extent, don't we also kneel to pray in many cases? I realize that Kaepernick's initial kneel was, in his reported view at least, partly out of protest, but there are several instances where kneeling is one of the biggest forms of respect. Kneeling for prayer is certainly one of the biggest gestures of respect we've got. We might also kneel in order to express sincere gratitude.

Why am I not insisting that everyone should be standing, regardless of belief or ability? Well, while I understand that soldiers fought and died for our freedoms - my dad was in the military for nearly 25 years, and my husband served almost 30 - there's also the belief that these men and women who wore and continue to wear a military uniform for our freedoms also have fought for our rights to protest. They fought for our right to kneel in prayer. They fought for those who simply can't physically stand up anymore to honor their country by doing what they can to honor it.

That's why I'm saying remove hats, stay off the devices, and stay quiet. While it is traditional - and many would say expected - to stand for anyone's national anthem, not everyone can do that, for one reason or another. We need to respect that while we might stand for the anthem, soldiers did also fight for the rights of others to sit or kneel respectfully during that anthem, for one reason or another.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)