Which Flag For the Anthem?

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I received such a great question this morning that I had to create an article from it.

The Question

Greetings, I am the parent of a high school varsity football player. At this seasons first game, I noticed that during the presentation of the colors by the school’s JROTC and the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner, half the team/audience was looking at the flag pole at the end of the field and half at the color guard on the field. I searched the internet and could not find an answer and hope you would respond to this question. Where should the team and audience direct their attention when a color guard is presenting the colors during the playing of the national anthem?

The Answer

Sir, this is a very good question. The answer is facing either flag is “correct”. However, what the color guard is doing is called a formal presentation of the colors. It is more appropriate to face the flag that the color guard is presenting since the whole purpose of the team to be there is to present the flag.

I suggest having the announcer say something like this, “Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise for the presentation of the colors and the Star-Spangled Banner and direct your attention to the XYZ color guard at center field/court.” XYZ would be “the Tiger Battalion” or other identifier associated with the color guard.

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