Living over the millennia, as I have, I’ve had the chance to observe many social practices, including thousands of military practices. I’ve seen all manor of uniforms, marching, salutes, and other customs. Invariably, they are expected to be followed.
Recently, there has been criticism of athletes for kneeling during your National Anthem rather than standing. Your president is one of those who criticize this practice.
The picture above is from the Whitehouse website and appears to show the Trumps during the playing of your National Anthem. The first lady has her hand over her heart and the musicians appear to be in the middle of playing something. Your president has his hands at his sides. It’s possible that he’s attempting to stand at attention. In any case, he is not rendering proper honors.
Throughout the playing of the anthem, civilians show respect by placing their right hand over their heart. Military members, unless in formation, render a salute. Veterans may either salute or place their hand over their heart–a relatively recent change.
Military members in formation stand at attention and the service member at the front–often the senior member or officer responsible for the unit–renders the salute for the entire formation. In any case, a salute is rendered from the bugle call “To the colors” (if played) or from the first note of the anthem and maintained until the bugle call to secure or the last note of the anthem is played.
If the anthem is, in fact, being played in this picture, your president is not rendering proper honors to the flag. He is not in formation with a senior rendering the salute. He is not saluting.
Perhaps, like Colin Kaepernick, he is silently protesting during the playing of the anthem.