Bellamy Salute

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--[ 2 MIN READ]

Your ancestors held the Nazi Salute in very high regard

The Bellamy salute is a palm-out salute created by James B. Upham as the gesture that was to accompany the American Pledge of Allegiance, which had been written by Francis Bellamy. It was also known as the “flag salute” during the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance. Bellamy promoted the salute and it came to be associated with his name. Both the Pledge and its salute originated in 1892. Later, during the 1920s and 1930s, Italian fascists and Nazi Germans adopted a salute which was very similar, correctly attributed to the Roman salute, a gesture that was popularly believed to have been used in ancient Rome. This resulted in controversy over the use of the Bellamy salute in the United States. It was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the Flag Code on December 22, 1942.

Queen Elizabeth as a kid

Children performing the Bellamy salute to the flag of the United States, 1941

Children salute the American flag in front of the school in Morgan Hill, California in the 1930s

A group of U.S. schoolchildren pledging their allegiance to the flag, May 1942

Bellamy salutes in 1917 at a Fifth Avenue, New York, ceremony opposite the Union League Club reviewing stand during the recent “Wake Up, America” celebration where thousands marched in the procession.

Le Serment du Jeu de paume (1791)

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