President Donald Trump failed to salute the American flag during a routine military ceremony (video below.)
While speaking with Sean Hannity at an Air National Guard hangar in Middletown, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 10, Trump paused as the song "Evening Colors" began playing in the background, the Daily Mail reported.
“What a nice sound that is,” Trump said, as the song began playing. “Are they playing that for you or for me?”
“They’re playing that in honor of his ratings,” Trump joked. “Did you see how good his ratings are? He’s beating everybody.”
"I think they'll be higher tonight," Hannity responds. "I'm just guessing."
But the tune is played as part of a tradition that predates the American Revolutionary War, according to Task and Purpose. It is used by the military to signal the start and end of the official duty day.
During the tradition, the American flag is lowered and raised on U.S. military installations. A bugle plays on the loudspeakers as service members and civilians pay their respects to the flag.
Uniformed service members are required to stop and salute the flag while the tune is played. Hands are placed over hearts for civilians. Service members who are driving vehicles on a military base are also required to pull over and salute the flag.
While members in the audience were seen standing up during the ceremony, Trump did not appear aware of the long-standing American tradition. The president recently lashed out against NFL players participating in the peaceful protest started by quarterback Colin Kaepernick in which they kneel during the national anthem to raise awareness about police brutality and racial inequality in America.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b***h off the field right now, out, he's fired. He's fired,'" Trump said during a rally in Alabama in late September, CNN reported. "You know, some owner is going to do that. He's going to say, 'That guy that disrespects our flag, he's fired.' And that owner, they don't know it [but] they'll be the most popular person in this country."
During the Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers game on Oct. 8, Vice President Mike Pence left the stadium early after watching players kneel during the national anthem, Yahoo! Sports reported.
“I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem," Pence tweeted after his departure. "At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us."
"While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem," Pence added. "I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.”
Trump later revealed on Twitter that he did, in fact, agree.
"I asked Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country," the president tweeted. "I am proud of him and Karen."