Independence Day, commonly referred to as the Fourth of July, is an American holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. During celebrations on July 4th, you’re certain to hear the country’s national anthem – The Star-Spangled Banner. There are certain rules and courtesies to keep in mind while listening to this patriotic tune. To be certain you’re primed when it’s played on Independence Day or at the next sporting event, follow this bit of decorum:
Stop – Upon the first note of The Star-Spangled Banner, all movement (e.g., walking and texting) should cease. Hats worn by civilian men should be removed with the right hand. That hat should then be placed over the gentleman’s left shoulder; right hand covering the heart (the salute).
Look – While standing at attention, and with your right hand covering your heart (no, that isn’t just for the Pledge of Allegiance) turn to face the flag. If there’s no flag within view, please face the direction of the music. The salute is held until the last note of the anthem is heard.
Listen – Do show respect by remaining silent, ending all conversations, when The Star-Spangled Banner is played – even if you are from another country. Likewise, when visiting another country, please show reverence to their national anthem by demonstrating this same courtesy. If the occasion is deemed appropriate, feel free to sing along, with reverence.
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Wishing you a safe and Happy 4th of July filled with all the charm of patriotic fanfare!
Erika Preval is a certified etiquette consultant and founder of both simply put, a blog that simplifies the intricacies of manners for adults as well as Charm Etiquette, the premiere source for boutique etiquette events created for modern youth in Atlanta. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.