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National Anthem

  1. Designation.–The composition consisting of the words and music known as the
    Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.
  2. Conduct During Playing.–During a rendition of the national anthem–
    1. when the flag is displayed–
      1. all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the
        flag with the right hand over the heart;
      2. men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and
        hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
      3. individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of
        the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and
    2. when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and
      act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

(Pub. L. 105-225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1263.)

Sec. 302. National motto

“In God we trust” is the national motto.

(Pub. L. 105-225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1263; Pub. L. 107-293,

Sec. 303. National floral emblem

The flower commonly known as the rose is the national floral emblem.

(Pub. L. 105-225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1263.)

Sec. 304. National march

The composition by John Philip Sousa entitled “The Stars and Stripes
Forever” is the national march.

(Pub. L. 105-225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1263.)

102 Responses to “National Anthem”

  1. Please clarify for me: During a rendition of the national anthem (2) when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

    In other words:
    1. all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the
    FACE THE MUSIC with the right hand over the heart;
    2. men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and
    hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
    3. individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of
    the anthem and maintain that position until the last note

    Is this correct?

  2. Yes, Marti. We are supposed to behave precisely the same way we would if a flag were present. However, military veterans now have the option of also saluting the flag, even if they are not in uniform or wearing a hat (or not), indoors or outside. Here’s an up to date link:
    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title36/pdf/USCODE-2011-title36-subtitleI-partA-chap3-sec301.pdf
    I hope this helps clarify things.
    Best wishes,
    Deborah Hendrick

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