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New Law Authorizes Veterans' Salutes during National Anthem

Just in case you hadn't heard.

WASHINGTON (Oct. 30, 2008) -- Veterans and active-duty military not in uniform can now render the military-style hand salute during the playing of the national anthem, thanks to changes in federal law that took effect this month.

“The military salute is a unique gesture of respect that marks those who have served in our nation’s armed forces,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. “This provision allows the application of that honor in all events involving our nation’s flag.”

The new provision improves upon a little known change in federal law last year that authorized veterans to render the military-style hand salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag, but it did not address salutes during the national anthem. Last year’s provision also applied to members of the armed forces while not in uniform.

Traditionally, members of the nation’s veterans service organizations have rendered the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag while wearing their organization’s official head-gear.

The most recent change, authorizing hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel, was sponsored by Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, an Army veteran. It was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which President Bush signed on Oct. 14.

The earlier provision authorizing hand-salutes for veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag, was contained in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, which took effect Jan. 28, 2008.


Have we really come to this?   A LAW is needed for a veteran to salute the flag?  I understand why protocol regs would be drawn up for active duty personnel, but for veterans/civilians a... law is required?

What's the enforcement mechanism for the law?  A Flag Police Emergency Response SWAT team?

What's the penalty for breaking the law?

All that is not permitted is forbidden...

To paraphrase Blazing Saddles;  "Permission?  We don't need no stinkin' permission!"

And to quote Hee-Haw;  "Saaaaaa-lute!"


There isn't really an enforcement mechanism, Kevin.  The previous regs technically didn't allow us to salute the flag.  Now they do.  For those of us who are kinda rule-bound and chafed at not being allowed to do something we were once authorized to do, it's a nice change.

Methinks you are reading this rather harshly.  All it says is - you, dude, can salute now instead of (as you formally were supposed to do) do the hand over the heart thing.

That's all it says.

It doesn't have punitive provisions to whack that never-served fellow next to you (who's unlikely to salute, anyway.).

Here, have a brandy and go get a nice fat cigar outta that walk-in humidor you've got.  You are wound *waaaaaay* too tight.

Law catches up with custom.

Yeh, I've been a violator, I admit.
Let's approach this in a different manner....

Active duty folks have their regs/protocol to follow.  No problem with that.

However, once I'm out and a civilian.... them regs no longer apply and I sure don't need another friggin' law giving me permission to do... well, just about anything that doesn't harm another person or their property.

I sure as hell don't need a law 'giving me permission', much less direction on how to salute my own nations flag.

A pox on people who state; "Y'know, there outa be a law".  This mentality is the reason why we are the most  litigated and litigious society on Earth.  This mindset is why we have to have law libraries.

The 10 Commandments and the 10 Ammendments seemed to work pretty well, til'....

"Y'know, there oughta be a law"...

And, if it's a law... then you break that law.... whaddya mean there are no punitive provisions?  If not, then why make it a law?

To me, this fails the common sense test.

As a side note, I don't care for brandy, however I DO enjoy a daily snog of small batch bourbon or single malt scotch, with either a cigar or my pipe.

And, I have "smacked" the guy sitting down during the National Anthem.  Y'know, there oughta be a law and call the ACLU.

I remember the good ol' days when what wasn't prohibited *in writing* was permitted.

Now it's flipped so that whatever isn't permitted *in writing* is prohibited.

The plethora of lawyers with which we are plagued means that there are innumerable lampposts in dire need of decorating...
Good grief. It's been so long that I've forgotten the rules. And I'm going to have to practice. Oh, wait, I don't have to, I can do the hat - in - hand - over - the - heart thing. That's easier. Must go practice, though, for when someone wants me to demonstrate.
I'm with Bill T. on this one.
Hey, I very properly sat during the national anthem, lots of times, when the other high school's band was playing it. Our band director stood and did a sword salute for all of us. I wonder if high school band directors are even allowed to have swords these days, let alone leave them lying about the office for the kids to play with. (This one had no edge, to speak of.)