What is patriotism?  That is a good question.  Merriam-Webster defines Patriotism aslove for or devotion to one’s country.  In the VFW Auxiliary, Americanism and Patriotism go hand in hand.  Many times, the Americanism Chair and the Patriotic Instructor will team up and do projects together.


In our Ritual, we all know the Patriotic Instructor has one time to speak in the meeting after the opening prayer and before the Pledge of Allegiance.  Simply it is the following:


Let us be ever mindful of our duties as members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Auxiliary, to see that our flag is never desecrated and to teach the people of our land what this means and to see that all are instructed in the Pledge to the Flag.


Such a simple but powerful statement.  It is our duty as members of the Auxiliary to teach the people of our landWow.


Things we can do to adhere to this:


  1. Work with your Post when they retire flags. We should encourage the Post to include us in these ceremonies and we should attend whenever possible.
  2. Work with your Americanism Chair, ask how you can help them bring the Pledge of Allegiance and it’s meaning into our schools.
  3. Show your patriotism whenever you can by: Wearing red, white and blue.  Something as simple as wearing flag jewelry, etc.  Proudly saluting during the pledge to the flag and whenever the US flag passes you (more about proper etiquette later).
  4. I encourage each of you to find ways to show your Patriotism in your life and through your Auxiliary.


Flag Etiquette:


When saying the Pledge of Allegiance, when a US flag is presented (at parades or whenever the US flag is used in floor work to escorts officers and guests) and when singing the National Anthem.  The code states that civilians should stand to attention with right hand over heart (the heart salute), while military personnel in uniform and veterans (no uniform required) should salute throughout.  Many of you know that sometimes we have smaller US flags (these are called banner flags) as part of the ritual and parades.  These banner flags do not need to be saluted.


Some simple instructions regarding the following:


Raps of the Gavel:

One (1) rap of the gavel – Attention

Two (2) raps of the gavel – Rise

Three (3) raps of the gavel – Be seated


Attention & Parade Rest • “Attention” in the VFW Auxiliary means hands at side, head up with eyes looking straight forward. • “Parade Rest” means the left foot is moved slightly to the side while bringing the arms to the small of the back. Clasp the left thumb in the right hand. The head is bowed slightly during prayer.

Showing Proper Respect to the Flag • During our Ritualistic meeting, the President will say “Salute” when the flags enter and leave the room, as well as when we say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the national anthem. Salute the Flag by placing the palm of the right hand flat over the heart. • During Auxiliary meetings, the heart salute shall be used at all times where the salute is used. • A member who is also a veteran may use the military salute. • When the Flag is displayed AND the national anthem is played and/or sung, all present should face the Flag and salute. • When the Flag is NOT displayed and the national anthem is played and/or sung, all present should face the music and salute. • Members should stand when the flags are moving.

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