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I worked a concession stand at the Super Bowl to raise funds for my son's high school band. During the National Anthem, a huge crowd of impatient fans wanted their pizza and beer before the kickoff. It did not feel right to continue working, but I could barely hear anything above the crowd and there were no flags in sight. Nobody around me paid any attention to the National Anthem.


We also work concessions at Rangers baseball games. Our stand faced away from the field. During a regular season game, there were only a few people in line when they played the National Anthem, so I simply removed my hat, stood at attention and focused on a flag on a nearby building. Nobody seemed to mind waiting another minute for refreshments.


What is the etiquette for this kind of situation? I think it would be great if everyone in the stadium paused to show respect during the National Anthem. Do any stadiums have this policy?


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Hello Tom,



Interesting questions.



As I think about it, I don't imagine hogs that are feeding at a trough stop for such things....



Those in the military can probably be relied upon to render honors to the colors unless their duty calls their attention elsewhere.


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Flag Etiquetee 101

Stand and Salute the flag when; a) you see it being raised or lowered on a staff, b)you pass it, c) it passes you, and d) when giving the pledge of allegiance, e) during the national anthem.


Those in uniform (including Scouts) give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.


Now, what to do when one hears the national anthem but does not see a flag? I admit that when I'm watching television - during a hockey or football game for example, I usually stop talking but I don't stand up in my living room or place a hand over my heart.


I did notice during the most recent Superbowl, one of the close-ups of a player showed tears streaming down his cheek. Not sure if that was pride from the anthem, pride in making it to the championship game or simply pain from an injury but it sure played well on TV!

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I'm just back from a public venue that featured the national anthem and the contrast could not have been stronger. Not only did the symphony orchestra play the anthem but the conductor turned and coducted the entire audience as they sang it. And as far as I could tell every last one of us did sing it. Loudly. Standing in solemn respect.

Like I said, quite a contrast to sports venues. Draw your own conclusions.

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