The four clergy singing the National Anthem in the front page “Soul Food” titled photo about the ministers’ luncheon would have done well to mirror Mayor Debe Hollingsworth’s show of respect for the national anthem. While I’ll cut them some slack for not facing the flag, one would think by now all would have a clue about flag, anthem and pledge of allegiance protocol.

According to the United States Code in Title 36, subtitle I, part A, chapter 3, section 301. National anthem, (a) Designation. - The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.

(b) Conduct During Playing.- During a rendition of the national anthem- (1) when the flag is displayed- (A) all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart;

Clearly, no one intentionally disrespects the flag or anthem but there are some “basics.” They include placing the right hand over the heart during the anthem, or when the colors pass, taking the left hand out of your pocket during all of the above, not texting, and always displaying the Flag of the United States on the viewer’s right facing the flag, not having the flag touch the ground or wearing it as an item of clothing.

As we approach Memorial Day, suggest all bone up on flag protocol, both display thereof and rendering honors.

Stu Soffer

White Hall