Vandalia Leader

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Taking hats off indoors still a sign of respect to others

Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 2:08 am

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

At a recent Van-Far R-I School Board meeting, board member Charlie Scrogin asked the district to consider making a rule for no one to wear hats inside any building during district events.
While the board discussed the challenges of enforcing such a rule, a move was considered to post signs asking those attending events inside to remove their headware upon entering the building. Though some might consider the removal of hats as “old-fashioned,” many young Vandalia residents might not realize the reasoning behind this request. It’s simple, it’s a sign of respect to remove a hat off indoors.
According to, this practice dates back to knights in medieval times who would remove their helmet or lift their visor to identify themselves. Failure to do this was sometimes fatal. Though the punishment has changed over time from severe to nothing, the practice of men removing a hat indoors has carried over the generations as a sign of respect. Etiquette guidelines for places where men are to take off hats include:
• In someone’s home
• At mealtimes, at the table
• While being introduced, indoors or out (unless it’s frigid!)
• In a house of worship, unless a hat or head covering is required
• Indoors at work, especially in an office (unless required for the job)
• In public buildings such as a school, library, courthouse, or town hall
• In restaurants and coffee shops
• At a movie or any indoor performance
• When the national anthem is played
• When the flag of the United States passes by, as in a parade
The issue of men not in uniform wearing hats during the presentation of colors or the National Anthem is written into U.S. law code Title 36, Chapter 10.
During a rendition of the national anthem, men not in uniform should “remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart…”
In 1922, Emily Post said “it is not necessary to add that every American male citizen stands with his hat off at the passing of the ‘colors’ and when the national anthem is played. If he didn’t, some other more loyal citizen would take it off for him.”
Women are typically exempted from these rules with fashion hats unless they’re working indoors or blocking someone’s view. If they choose to wear baseball caps, the ladies will have to follow the same rules as men follow.
Thankful for service men and women
I personally am grateful that our country takes time to honor our veterans on Memorial Day every year.
We have freedoms that have been protected through our service men and women who have sacrificed everything for the betterment of all of us.
If you haven’t already, please be sure to thank someone you know currently in the military or who previously served for their sacrifice. Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.