Recently, I watched the LAHS Homecoming Parade on Central Avenue. I was very disappointed to observe a lack of respect for our American flag as the Jr. ROTC led the parade down the street. How will our children and grandchildren learn proper flag etiquette and respect if adults do not show proper flag etiquette when watching parades?
I did a bit of research and discovered the following U.S. Flag Code information from military.com on the Internet:
“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 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.”
In addition, a group of giggly middle school students congregated next to me at the parade. Soon the ground around them was strewn with candy wrappers and a wad of chewed gum. They made no effort whatsoever to clean up the litter at the end of the parade. I was very disappointed in their actions and their disrespect for the lovely community in which they have the privilege to live.
Now is the time for parents and teachers to coach these children on proper behavior in public, specifically at a parade.