New Law Allows Veterans to Salute During National Anthem - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Law Allows Veterans to Salute During National Anthem

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KENNEWICK, Wash--  KNDU spoke with a number of veterans who were left scratching their heads when asked what they thought of a new law that allows them to salute the flag during the National Anthem.

Here's what the law says: veterans and active-duty military not in uniform can salute the flag when the national anthem plays.  Meaning, at say a Tri-Cities Americans game for example, a veteran can salute.

The law is part of the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, something a few veterans we spoke with have heard of.  But a few veterans say they never knew they weren't supposed to salute.

"I always salute the flag," says Harry Rivera-Plaza, a Korean War Veteran.  "I stand, take my hat off, like every other American. This is all very strange to me."

The Department of Veterans Affairs say traditionally only servicemen and veterans in uniform salute the flag.  The change in the law comes from a not-so-well-known change last year allowing a salute in any event that involves the flag, but it did not touch base on the national anthem. 

Still, some veterans say they always have, and will continue to, salute the flag.