I've got mixed feelings about the new rule, Pete.
The hand salute is, at base, a symbol of recognition, greeting, and respect among warriors.
My objections are twofold. First, being as I am no longer officially a warrior, should I still be entitled to the trappings of that profession? That's the one I'm struggling with. I change my answer every other day.
Second, and more important, is my fear that the hand salute will become trivialized. Say we're at a ballpark. The way things work, nowadays, if you and I render the hand salute, folks around us will think, "hey, that's cool," and do it as well. Next thing you know, it's a fad instead of a meaningful gesture.
Think not? Just consider the way award ribbons (indeed, even the medals themselves) are worn by entertainers & musicians as if they were so much junk jewelry.
I'm not looking to start a debate on this; just expressing my ambivalence. And considering how many citizens doen't even stand up when the flag appears, the question of civilians hand-saluting is kind of trivial.