Bellamy salute

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

The Bellamy salute is a palm-out salute described by Francis Bellamy, an American Christian socialist and the author of the American Pledge of Allegiance. It is the gesture that was originally used to accompany the pledge. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the "flag salute". Both the Pledge of Allegiance and the Bellamy salute originated in 1892.

Due to similarity with the Roman salute, the Bellamy salute became controversial. Both the Roman salute and Francis Bellamy may been inspired by the same claimed Ancient Roman salutes. The Bellamy salute was officially replaced with the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the Flag Code on 22 December 1942.

From 1939 until the attack on Pearl Harbor, supporters of intervening in WWII produced misleading propaganda involving photographs of the anti-interventionist Charles Lindbergh and other "isolationists" appearing to perform a Hitler salute, when they were actually performing the Bellamy salute. In his biography Lindbergh (1998), author A. Scott Berg explains that interventionist propagandists would photograph Lindbergh and other "isolationists" using the Bellamy salute from an angle that left out the American flag, so it would be indistinguishable from the Hitler salute to observers.

See also

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