The lyrics to our ‘National Anthem’ recount the story of Francis Scott Key’s experience as a prisoner atop a British Naval Ship attacking on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. As the young lawyer and poet gazed upon the rockets and bombs, he knew that if the flag still waved by morning the fort was safe. In 1931, President Hoover signed the papers to make “The Star Spangled Banner” the official anthem of the United States of America.
Over the years this song has come to hold a special place in our sporting events like baseball, football, and basketball games. In 2007, Congress addressed the procedures for observing “The Star Spangled Banner” in U.S. Code 36 USC 301. Uniformed personnel, as well as member and veterans of the Armed Forces are trained on how to conduct themselves during this song.
So what are you supposed to do during the national anthem?
“All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart.” For men who are not in uniform, hats should be removed with the right hand and placed over the left shoulder. Attention should be focused on the singer in the case that a flag is not displayed.
If you want to honor your country in a simple way, or show respect for all the hardworking men and women in the Armed Forces this holiday season, recognize the national anthem appropriately. Teach your children how to show respect to this wonderful country by helping them learn the words. We could not have made it 236 years without citizens who have been willing to give their lives for what the American flag represents. Honor the soldiers who have fought for this country; learn how to recite “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Calling all students songwriters, musicians and singers! We are looking for submissions to be showcased in our Cleveland County Artists feature: