What Has Happened to National Anthem Etiquette in America?
Has Respect for the U.S. National Anthem Been Lost?
I am a patriotic person, but after observing some recent events I've been troubled by a lack of National Anthem etiquette and wondering if the citizens of the United States have lost respect for its true meaning.
I don't want this lens to be offensive to anyone in any way, but I do want to spark some thought in the minds of my American brethren about what our flag and National Anthem means to you. By the same token, if you are a citizen of another country, you can ask yourself these same questions about your country's flag and anthem.
I took a trip to New York City last week, and was feeling an amazing sense of sorrow and pride after visiting the Patriot's Peace Memorial which now stands on the site of the fallen Twin Towers. I was in New York for the NCAA Big East Basketball Championship, and the actions I observed during the singing of the United States National Anthem left me disturbed.
(Image Credit to lecates - Licensed via Creative Commons with Attribution)
Observations During the National Anthem
I mentioned before that I am a very patriotic person. I feel blessed to have the freedom and opportunities that the United States of America provides. I realize that there are many other great countries to live in around the world, but also many others that do not afford their citizens the same levels of freedom. I also realize that America is not always in the right, but with that said I feel that we should show respect for the flag, the National Anthem, and the beliefs and freedoms that our Country was founded on.
When the U.S. National Anthem was played at the 2013 NCAA Big East Basketball Tournament, I stood there with my hat in my left hand and my right hand over my heart. I was focused on the American Flag, while the singer belted out her rendition of the anthem.
Now, I am used to people cheering at various points throughout the anthem, when the singer really hits a high note, or knocks it out of the park with their performance. But what I am not used to are people yelling completely random phrases during the anthem, just so they can be heard while the crowd is quiet. I experienced this as the semi-finals game on Friday night, and the final game on Saturday night, and I just felt that it was disrespectful.
I located the video below of the National Anthem from the Final game between Syracuse and the University of Louisville. The audio did not pick up all the the yelling that I heard being there in person, so it really doesn't do justice in showing type of actions I am describing. It did pick up the audio from the yelling that occurred closer to the camera though.
In the video, you can hear people yelling "Let's go Orange" and "Go 'Cuse". From where I was sitting, I could also hear people yelling "U of L sucks" and "Beat the Cards".
I have to say that I was very shocked at this point. I heard a lot of this going on during the Friday night game's National Anthem, but not to the same degree. My attention was obviously drawn away from the Flag and the Anthem, and toward this activity occurring in the crowd. At this point, I noticed a number of people that did not remove their hats, and even more people who did not have their hand over their heart.
So this experience has prompted the question "Has respect for the United States of America's National Anthem been lost?". (Please answer the poll below.)
(Image Credit to stephen.moore - Licensed via Creative Commons with Attribution)
Debate Poll - Has respect been lost for the U.S. National Anthem?
From my personal experiences, I believe that respect for the flag has been lost, and that proper etiquette is not observed during the American National Anthem. I see people not acting appropriately, not removing their caps, not placing their hand over their hearts, not facing the flag, and carrying on conversations during the performance of the Anthem.
What are your thoughts and experiences? Weigh in with your vote and comments below.
Have American citizens lost respect for the U.S. National Anthem?
Do you display the American Flag at Your Home?
The one thing I really love about the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays, is that you see a lot of people flying the American Flag. You see this at peoples homes and businesses, and it definitely spurs patriotic feelings. I wish that more people flew the Flag year round.
Listed below are several affordable flag sets that contain the flag, pole, and mounting bracket. There are also some very inexpensive flags that can be mounted or hung from your existing flagpole. Do you fly 'Old Glory' at your home?
This is a complete American flag set. It contains a deluxe American nylon flag that has embroidered stars and sewn stripes. A six foot aluminum pole and steel mounting bracket allows you to display this flag with pride. The pole is topped with a gold eagle. The multi-position mounting bracket allows you flexibility in how you want to mount this flag.
This is a very affordable flag set. It contains a 3x5 foot flag that is polyester/cotton blend. You get everything you need in this kit to mount and fly the flag. It has a six foot aluminum pole and mounting bracket. The pole is tipped with a plastic gold American eagle.
If you already have a flag pole and mounting bracket, but just need a replacement flag, then this is the right choice for you. This 3x5 foot flag is perfect for hanging or flying and is very well made.
If you are just looking for an inexpensive American flag (without a flag pole or bracket), then check out this flag from Flags Unlimited. For under $10.00, you can't go wrong with this one.
The National Anthem at the 2013 NCAA Big East Basketball Tournament
Here is a video that was taken at the 2013 NCAA Big East Men's Basketball championship game. This video is from the same event that I attended where I started questioning the lack of etiquette that some citizens show towards the US Flag and the National Anthem.
As I stated earlier, the audio captured on this video doesn't quite do justice to the behavior I observed as the American National Anthem was being sung. Some of the yelling and comments (unrelated to the Anthem or the performance) are audible, but many were too faint.
So what do you think? Please leave a comment below in the guestbook. Thanks
National Anthem Etiquette Poll #1
It is proper etiquette to remove your hat or cap when the flag is displayed at the start of the Anthem, or when the Anthem starts.
Do you remove your hat (or would you if you were wearing one) during the National Anthem?
National Anthem Etiquette Poll #2
It is proper etiquette to stand (facing the flag or toward the music if the flag is not displayed) with your right hand placed over your heart.
Do you stand, face the Flag, and place your right hand over your heart during the National Anthem?
National Anthem Etiquette Poll #3
It is proper etiquette for people in uniform to offer the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note. Members of the armed forces and veterans (who are present but not in uniform) to give the military salute in the same manner that those in uniform would.
If you are member of the armed forces or veteran not in uniform, do you give the military salute during the National Anthem?
I know that any time a conversation opens about politics or patriotism, that it opens the door for some charged feelings and potentially intense debate. I welcome these comments.