Why the number "21", in a 21 gun salute
Gun salutes are also rendered to other military and civilian leaders of this and other nations. The number of guns is based on their protocol rank. These salutes are always in odd numbers. For example, the Vice President of the United States, Secretary Defense, and Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy all rate 19 guns. ...more
The history of the 21 gun salute is actually far older than the gun itself. Since ancient times, people with peaceful intentions have approached with their weapons held in a way which disables them. For example, people carrying spears might drag them along the ground. The disability of the weapon implies a genuine peaceful intention, and also an honor, as someone with a disabled weapon is in the power of someone with a functional weapon.
The earliest form of the gun salute was ...more