Speaking at an event in Reno, Nevada last night, Mitt Romney said, “you know we’re the only people on earth that put our hand over our heart during the playing of the national anthem.” A quick image search by BuzzFeed found this to be incompletely untrue.
Romney continued, “It was FDR who asked us to do that. In honor of the blood that was being shed by our sons and daughters in far off places.” Romney’s second claim about the National Anthem also doesn’t stand up to the facts.
The hand over heart gesture, common in America today, was instituted in December 1942 by an act of Congress. Congress did not amend the Flag Code, however “in honor of the blood that was being shed by our sons and daughters in far off places.” The amending to the Flag Code was made because the Bellamy salute, which was previously gestured during the Anthem, was too similar the Roman salute. The Roman salute is the common gesture in any picture of a fascist rally in Italian and Germany before and during the second World War.
The previous misquoting of Thomas Paine and the gaffe related to the Anthem make it seem as if the Romney speech writing team is relying too heavily on the internet for historical references in Romney’s stump.
The Romney campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.