Morale: Making It Safe For Civilians to Salute


August 19, 2007: The U.S. Congress just passed a law (S.1877) allowing military veterans to render a military salute to the flag, while not in uniform. In the past, it had been customary for only military personnel in uniform to use the military salute when recognizing the flag. Civilians, and military personnel (including veterans) used the civilian "salute" of placing ones hand over ones heart. But this custom had never been recognized by law, and many veterans would render a military salute to the flag. This wasn't illegal, but it wasn't quite legal, either. Not a big deal for most, but for many veterans, and active duty military personnel wearing civilian clothes, it is a big deal. Flags were originally invented mainly as military symbols, an early form of battlefield communication. It still sometimes serves that purpose. It's still something soldiers die for, or even under. Always being able to render the military salute to the flag thus means something for those who have served to defend it with their lives.


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