The United States Flag is a symbolic representation of the country and the Flag Code tells how the flag is to be treated. Respectful treatment of the flag includes keeping the flag clean, never allowing it to touch the ground and flying it with the blue union at the top. This etiquette also extends to how the flag is saluted, whether it is during the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem.

Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance affirms a person's patriotism and allegiance to the United States and its citizens and ideals. The pledge is given while standing and facing the U.S. flag. No one old enough or able to stand is exempt. The right hand is placed over the heart, and men must remove their hats. Women remove sports caps, but fancy dress hats may be left on. Military, police officers and firefighters in uniform salute rather than place a hand over the heart, while veterans and out-of-uniform personnel may choose one or the other.