The Popcorn Stand: Douglas didn’t place hand over heart; who cares, she won 3 gold
I’m about to enter a hornets’ nest when it comes to an issue I don’t think should have ever become that big of a deal. A lot of people were upset when Gabby Douglas didn’t place her hand over her heart during the national anthem after the U.S. Women won the gold in gymnastics. I think the situation was made worse by the fact the other four women did place their hands over their hearts.
I’ve done considerable research on this issue when it comes to the etiquette for the military and civilians when it comes to the national anthem and I’m more confused than ever. Opinions range from civilians MUST ABSOLUTELY place their hands over their hearts during the national anthem to civilians MUST ABSOLUTELY NOT place their hands over their hearts because the national anthem isn’t a pledge and the only time you place your hand over your heart is when you say a pledge such as the Pledge of Allegiance.
To be honest I don’t think I’ve ever placed my hand over my heart when standing at attention for the national anthem.
And I think we get caught up too much in symbolism. Douglas has won three gold medals representing her country, so it doesn’t matter to me if she places her hand over her heart or not.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a war hero who was the Commander-in-Chief, was adamant about NOT saluting the military because he considered himself a civilian and he believed civilians shouldn’t salute the military.
I don’t remember the specifics but I remember about 25 years ago this guy was on trial for the heinous crimes he committed and he flipped the bird at the camera. People were outraged because he flipped the bird. But what about the heinous crimes he committed?
Actions are more important than words. And gestures.
— Charles Whisnand