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U.S. American couple, 1943
Before 1942, American children pledged allegiance to the flag with the Bellamy Salute so named after Francis Bellamy who wrote the pledge of allegiance in 1892. Worried that it might be confused with the Nazi's Roman salute, Congress changed the salute to simply placing a hand over the heart.
36 star american flag from the civil war.
Swearing of the Pledge of Allegiance is accompanied by a salute. An early version of the salute was the Bellamy or "flag" salute. In 1942, because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, U.S. Congress instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the United States.
Sergeant William Harvey Carney ~ 29 Feb 1840-8 Dec 1908 was the first African American to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He rescued the US Flag as its' bearer fell & then carried it to the enemy ramparts & back after which he declared: "Boys, the old flag never touched the ground!"