1945 respecting the flag in schools 1945 | Post 1922

Information on the Flag for students in the USA
How to Salute the flag

After the end of the Second World War, the tricolour was burned by some individuals who opposed Ireland’s neutrality during the emergency period.

After the controversial events involving the burning of the tricolour, “Roddy the Rover”, a correspondent in The Irish Press, asked, “Do we not honour the Flag as we ought to do?

His views were one of a number of comments in the late 1940s designed to increase the level of education available to children in schools on how to address the flag.

Recent insults to the National Flag have swelled the Dishonourable Friends of the Nation.

For the boors have stirred up pride in the minds of their betters. Do we honour flags as we ought to do: I mean not in the mind only, but with the correct form of salute? A friend has sent me an extraordinary practical lesson … which is used in America. It consists of a sheet of strong brown paper, of the size suitable for covering a school-book. The paper is printed with spaces for the title of the book bound, on side and spine, and for names of owner and school. Then on what will be the back cover, there is a portrayal of the American Flag, with some brief facts about that emblem’s history, together with illustrated directions for the correct honouring of it, in public life.

Under the heading, “Manners for Civilians”, the writer then goes on to describe how and when the American flag should be flown, and how the flag should be saluted;

  1. Men in uniform stand to attention and salute with the right hand.
  2. Ladies should “place right hand over heart, - if they have one”
  3. Men in civil dress remove hat with right hand and hold it to heart or left shoulder. It is the civilians who need some instructions.

(Roddy the Rover, ‘Please Salute Correctly’, The Irish Press, 29 August 1945, p2).


Boors: rough and bad-mannered persons

In Your Opinion

  1. Why did ‘Roddy the Rover” choose to write about this topic?
  2. Why did he decide to publicise the “practical lesson” sent to him from America? 
  3. ‘Roddy the Rover” comments on the special features of the book cover that are suitable for children. Select two points that you think are an effective way to teach children about how the American flag.
  4. Look at the two images, the first showing the crossed flags, and the second showing three people. One is an American image, the other is drawn in Ireland. Which is the Irish one? Give reasons or your answer.

Supporting Material

Roddy the Rover, ‘Please Salute Correctly’, The Irish Press, 29 August 1945, p2.

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