Saluting the American Flag
United States Flag Etiquette
How and when to salute the American Flag
During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Citizens of other countries present should stand at attention. All such conduct toward the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes
Saluting the American Flag when in civilian attire
- MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute.
- MEN remove hats and hold at left shoulder with hand over heart; without hat, place right hand, palm open, over heart.
- WOMEN should place right hand, palm open, over heart.
- WOMEN may continue to wear headwear, although it is appropriate to remove all caps.
- When in athletic clothing, face the flag or music, remove hat or cap and stand at attention; a hand salute is not given.
- All citizens salute when the Pledge of Allegiance is spoken.
- All citizens salute when the National Anthem is played and should stand at attention and salute the US flag until the anthem is finished.
Saluting the American Flag when in military uniform
- Military personnel in uniform should render the military salute during the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, parades and reviews.
- Salute the flag when it is six paces from the viewer and hold it until the flag has passed six paces beyond.
- Salute the flag at the first note of the National Anthem and hold the salute until the last note is played.
- Hold the formal salute until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard (or until the end of the American National Anthem, whichever is longest).
- Salute as the American flag is raised or lowered.