In honor of our veterans on the anniversary of D-Day, Representative Lee Terry (R-NE), formally introduced the Veterans Equality to Salute (VETS) Act that allows veterans and military personnel not in uniform to salute the U.S. Flag during the Pledge of Allegiance.
"This common-sense legislation creates parity for those veterans and active-duty military not in uniform who want to give a military-style salute when they are reciting the Pledge of Allegiance," said Terry. "Today is an appropriate day to introduce this legislation and celebrate our vets who take deep pride in being able to honor with a military-style salute the flag they selflessly pledged to defend.
"This legislation is based on an idea brought to me by our local VFW. It is just common sense that the flag code should be amended," Terry concluded.
In 2008, an amendment was included in Public Law 110-181 that changed Title 4 of United States Code to allow veterans and military not in uniform to render a military-style salute during the raising, lowering and passing of the flag. In 2009, when the Defense Authorization Act was signed into law (P.L. 110-417), it made the corresponding change to allow Veterans and military personnel not in uniform to give a military-style salute to the flag during the playing of the National Anthem. However changes to the U.S. code did not address salutes to the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance.
Representative Terry introduced similar legislation during the 112th Congress that was included as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2013 but was not included in the conference report.
The VETS Act is endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.