Can You Salute the Flag AND Recite the Pledge?

by Bonnie James
(Lawndale, CA)

Bonnie writes:

Ok, I understand that if you served in the military you can salute the flag. But are you also to follow the rules for those in the military? The military rules are that you must salute the flag but remain silent!

This is not clear anywhere. I have spent days looking for this information as I belong to an organization where the retired military people salute the flag AND recite the Pledge.

On the same note, the AMMV (American Merchant Marine Veterans) states that if you put your hand over your heart, you can recite the pledge but if you render the hand salute you must remain silent.

Please, can someone tell me where I can find the right answer and not just someone's opinion?


Janet replies:

Hi Bonnie,

I'm afraid I can't point you to an official source that will provide the "right answer" with certainty.

But, let's go through it logically . . .

To render a salute, one must be at attention, correct? At attention, does one speak? No (unless reporting for duty).

So, using that logic, we would say that if one renders a hand salute, he does not recite the pledge. It seems we must choose whether we prefer to salute, or recite the Pledge.

Sorry I can't give you an "official" answer, but that's my opinion, and it's worth exactly what you paid for it - nada.

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