What’s proper when the flag passes in parade?

Dear Johnnie: I noticed at the Veteran’s Day parade that an astounding number of spectators did not remove their headgear or in any way acknowledge colors when they passed by. Apparently many people are unaware of or are ignoring parade protocol for showing respect for our country.

Will you provide information on the proper way to salute our flag as it passes during a parade? Thank you. — A Proud U.S. Marine Veteran

Dear Proud Veteran: According to United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1, Section 9, “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 their 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.”

Members of Longmont's John Howard Buckley American Legion Post 32 march in the Veterans Day Parade in Longmont on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. (Richard M. Hackett/Times-Call)

There were dozens of flags at the Veterans Day parade, but I can think of only two that were being carried in a way that would make this rule applicable — one at the head of the parade, being carried by a veteran; the other being carried by the Longmont Police Department Honor Guard.

Proud Vet, I have to confess that when the first flag came by, I was applauding your fellow veterans so vigorously that I forgot to put my hand over my heart.

Dear Readers: I was reminded late last week that the Kids’ Holiday Bicycle Program still needs bicycles. You may drop off unneeded, used bicycles through Dec. 5 at Longmont fire stations, but don’t wait until then. The refurbished bikes will be distributed to families in need on Dec. 9.

For more information, call Buzz Feldman at 303-709-6991, or go to bicyclelongmont.org or longmontymca.org .

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28 Responses to What’s proper when the flag passes in parade?

  1. Max says:

    When I was a kid I always think as why the flag passes in parade. As a citizen, we should respect our flag by rendering the salute. I have seen people who disrespect the country flag by using it for other purposes. Good read. Regards.
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