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Veterans May Salute the Flag in a Very Fitting Manner

 By Patrick Panzera, EAA 555743, ppanzera@eaa.org  

Flag patchAs a former U.S. Navy petty officer (veteran) who has done his share of observing colors while in uniform, it always seemed odd not to salute while out of uniform. For example, at the beginning of an air show when the “Star-Spangled Banner” is playing as the flag is lowering via parachute, I know to remove my cover and put my hand or hat over my heart, but by doing this, I would feel somehow robbed of the privilege of rendering a full, crisp hand salute. Not very long ago, I found out something that I didn’t know until I read an article similar to this:

Washington, D.C.U.S. Veterans May Render Hand Salute
It’s official: Veterans of the Armed Forces, in uniform or in civilian attire, may render the military salute during hoisting, lowering, or passing of the United States flag. Section 9 Title 4 of the United States Code was amended to reflect such action when the U.S. President signed HR 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 into law on January 28, 2008.

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) praised the passage by unanimous consent of his bill (S.1877) clarifying U.S. law to allow veterans and servicemen not in uniform to salute the flag, even while not covered.
 
“I look forward to seeing those who have served saluting proudly at baseball games, parades, and formal events,” he said. “I believe this is an appropriate way to honor and recognize the 25 million veterans in the United States who have served in the military and remain as role models to others citizens. Those who are currently serving or have served in the military have earned this right, and their recognition will be an inspiration to others.”

All veterans should hand salute the flag, instead of holding hand over heart, to show to all that they are veterans instead of civilians who haven’t served. And if covered, you don’t have to remove your hat to salute in honored respect for your military service. Indoors or outdoors, this rule applies; in uniform or in civilian clothes, this rule applies.

Civilians who haven’t served should still remove their hat and hold it or their hand over their heart.

I hope to see thousands of veterans salute their flag in the manner they earned – at AirVenture this year and every year.

 
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