In the theme song of a popular US animated sitcom American Dad Stan states the words "Shining a salute to the American race". Now what I am intent about learning is whether the writer i.e. Seth McFarlane is merely leveraging his prerogative here of selecting lyrics as long as they are more or less coherent and catchy or that the phrase has actual meaning.
Something you will see repeated a lot on this forum is that context is very important to comprehension. In this case, you gave us only "Shining a salute to the American race", which meant very little to me, as I had never heard the expression "shining a salute". However, when you Google the phrase to get the rest of the song, as follows:
"Good morning USA!
I've got a feeling that it's gonna be a wonderful day.
The sun in the sky has a smile on his face,
And he's shining a salute to the American race",
it becomes clear what he means. Instead of "shining", one could substitute "sending", "displaying", "offering"; whatever takes your fancy. "Shining" is particularly apposite, because that's what the Sun does...
I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....