• The National WWII Museum Blog
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“I Pledge Allegiance”

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Although the Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy and was recited in schools in the early 20th Century, it wasn’t until 22 June 1942, when the Flag Code became Public Law, that the Pledge of Allegiance was recognized by Congress.  The Flag Code addressed all issues regarding treatment of the flag as well as aspects of ceremony regarding the flag.  Still, confusion and controversy surrounded the everyday practice― what did people do and how did they stand while saying the Pledge of Allegiance? Bellamy had initially conceived of a salute which came to be known as the “Bellamy salute.” This fell out of fashion in the early 1940s with the rise of the Facism and the use of a very similar salute by the followers of Hitler and Mussolini. The Bellamy salute was actually still included in the Flag Code as appropriate decorum, and would not be not stricken from the Flag Code until the ammendments of December 1942.

Images below from the collections of the Library of Congress and the National Archives.

Post by Curator/Content Specialist Kimberly Guise.

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