A national anthem is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation’s government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people. As such, the national anthem is a symbol for the country.
“The Star Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States. When our national anthem is played, to show our respect, we stop talking, stand up, remove our hat/cap, and place our right hand over our heart. As Wikipedia observes:
“Certain etiquette may be involved in the playing of a country’s anthem. These usually involve military honours, standing up, removing headwear etc. In diplomatic situations the rules may be very formal.”
“God Save the Queen” is the de facto national anthem of the United Kingdom and some of its territories.
Last night, at the state banquet for the visiting Obamas, Obama raised a toast to Queen Elizabeth II. Before he finished his toast, the band began playing “God Save the Queen.” Protocol is that everyone stands in silence for “God Save the Queen.” But Obama broke protocol by continuing his toast.
The Queen observed protocol by remaining silent and waited until the band finished before she thanked Obama.
The person who uploaded this video onto Youtube bristled that this strict observance of protocol is slavish and that the Queen’s silence was “An insult to all Americans.”
What do you think?