Dale McGowan, author of Parenting Beyond Belief, gave me one more reason to dislike the pledge of allegiance. Take a gander at the original gesture for saluting the flag:
Dale’s smarter than I am, but I’m not going to take just his word for it. This set off my urban-legend alarms, so to keep up my skeptic street cred, I had to look for another source. I found a FoxNews article to corroborate Dale’s fishy story:
The original gesture when reciting the Pledge was not the current right hand held over the heart, but the “Roman salute” â€” a movement of the right hand away from the heart until it pointed away from the body. That fell out of favor when the Fascists in Italy and later the Nazis in Germany adopted the same salute.…
In 1942, soon after America entered World War II, Congress officially endorsed the Pledge of Allegiance and instituted the current hand-over-heart gesture.
To be fair, we used the straight-arm salute first, so they’re the copycats.
Actually, if you prefer your history with a hint of conspiracy theory, Rex Curry has a lot to say and provides some provocative visual aids: