The Bellamy Salute

Once upon a time, children across the United States recited the Pledge of Allegiance while giving this salute:

They look like cute little Nazis, don't they? This salute is known as the Bellamy Salute, named for the original author of the Pledge of Allegiance, who was a socialist. Before it was associated with the Nazis, this salute was known as the Roman salute, with purely miltary, non-fascist, non-socialist connotations. This doesn't stop the conspiracy nuts from going to town with it, though.

My interest in this matter happened when I first saw this picture on Wikipedia. I thought it was an interesting image, but noticed that it was captioned as being from the 1892 issue of The Youth's Companion that the original pledge was published in. There are some obvious anachronisms, but to be sure I pulled the original issue from the microfilm archives in my university's library. No such picture. No pictures at all, either, just woodcuts, as you'd expect from 1892 printing technology. I did find an awesome profile on the hottest new magic lantern technology, though.


saluting the flag

I had a strange false memory of being trained to salute the flag quite like this in my kindergarten experience at Strafford School.

After thinking about it for some time, I was able to clearly remember that I had been given the 'hand-over-heart' version that most of you probably did as well. I remember feeling deeply estranged about the whole situation, but yet doing my best to repeat the lines as instructed. The whole thing is in murky child-memory, as I moved out of public school for 3rd grade and didn't encounter The Pledge for many years afterwards.