Nov 19, 2016

Allegiance to the Flag

From Youth's Campaign 1892
Whenever we would say the  pledge allegiance to the flag in elementary school we placed our right hand over our chest. I remember doing this when we lived in the south, but not up north. However, it was not too far in the distant past that the salute was different.  In 1942, the Hitler regime began using the same salute that we did for years prior to WWII.  It is called the Bellamy Salute.

Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, wrote the original "Pledge of Allegiance." Until 1892, there never was a Pledge of Allegiance. Daniel Sharp Ford, owner of the magazine "Youth's Companion" was on a mission to have a flag placed in every school in the States.  He asked Bellamy to write the pledge and it was published in the magazine.  It caught on like a wild fire and before you know it the pledge was being recited daily by children across the country. Not only was the Pledge of Allegiance being said at school but in other venues as well such as: public gatherings, campgrounds, and even congress.

So, what does one do with their hands while reciting this allegiance to the flag? You cannot let your hands dangle, they must have a part in this. It was decided that the participants hold up their right arm and it extend it towards the flag.  It looks rather odd to those of us who have never done this. 

By the 1930's when news reels came from Europe and "Heil Hitler" was being said with the same salute the stance fell out of favor with the American public. It was decided then to change the way we saluted our flag and we then began placing our right hand over our heart.  Isn't that where our hand should have been all along?