Standing for the Pledge of Allegiance: What You Should Know

Are you familiar with the Pledge of Allegiance? If you’re like most Americans, you may recall reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school. In the United States, most public schools, as well as many private schools, have students stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. With that said, there are other times during which you should stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with the proper etiquette for recital.

What Is the Pledge of Allegiance?

Before we reveal the proper etiquette for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, let’s first take a closer look at this allegiance statement. The Pledge of Allegiance is an expression of allegiance to the American flag. It was originally composed by Francis Bellamy in 1892, though its since been modified several times.

The most recent version of the Pledge of Allegiance consists of: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Stand and Face the American Flag

When reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, stand and position your body so that you face the American flag. According to the U.S. Flag Code, the Pledge of Allegiance should always be recited by standing and facing the American flag.

Place Your Right Hand Over Your Heart

You should also place your right hand over your heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. With your palm open, raise your right hand and place it over your heart. You should hold your hand in this place until the Pledge of Allegiance has come to an end.

Remove Your Hat

Unless you’re a servicemember in uniform, you should remove your hat when standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. According to the U.S. Flag Code, you should hold your hat in your right hand when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, essentially holding your hat over your heart or left shoulder. An exception to this rule is military servicemembers in uniform. If you’re a soldier or other military servicemember, you should leave your hat on your head while standing and facing the American flag in a military salute.


Of course, it’s proper etiquette to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Consisting of just a single sentence, it’s pretty easy to remember. And if you recited it during your school years, you should remember it.