Chapter 1. The Nazi salute’s origin in the USA's Pledge of Allegiance Pledge of Allegiance

Pledge of Allegiance, Francis Bellamy, Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward, The original salute in the USA

The modern pledge of allegiance is a cover-up.  The hand-over-the-heart hides a horrid history. It hides the original gesture, which was very different. The hand covers up what real Americans know in their hearts is a bizarre ritual that glorifies big government.

The pledge of allegiance was the origin of the salute of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party).  It is a brown stain on American heritage. The original pledge of allegiance used a straight-arm salute because Francis Bellamy was a self-proclaimed national socialist who promoted “military socialism” (a Bellamy term).  To promote militarism, Bellamy started the pledge of allegiance with a military salute.  The military salute was held for the phrase “I pledge allegiance” and then the right arm extended straight outward toward the flag for the rest of the chant.  Historic photographs are linked at and at

The first description of the pledge had the palm of the hand turned upward for the straight-armed gesture.   The gesture changed in use, growing into the "Heil Hitler" appearance because of the military salute (palm down) extended casually straight toward the flag.

James Bailey Upham suggested to Bellamy part of the gesture (the straight-arm with the palm upward).  Upham’s suggested gesture (palm up) was like saying “Here is the flag.”  It was because of Bellamy’s alteration (the addition of the military salute) that the pledge evolved into the Nazi-style.

Upham was also familiar with Bellamy's "military socialism" dogma because Edward Bellamy, cousin and cohort to Francis, had written of it in the international bestseller "Looking Backward" in 1888, and both Bellamys had been openly involved in the national socialism movement and the "Nationalist" magazine.

Edward Bellamy was a bitter West Point failure but he loved Prussian militarism and the educational system.  According to Tom Peyser "On his deathbed, he wiled away the hours by arranging tin soldiers along the folds of his coverlet." That would interest all who loathe the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, because Prussia led to the formation of the German empire, and after World War I, Prussia continued to exist as the largest Land (state) within the Weimar Republic and under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.  After World War II it was dissolved by decree of the Allied Control Council in 1947.

Even with the palm turned upward, people would later see the relationship to the National Socialist German Workers' Party and that is why the straight-arm salute was disfavored in 1942, and the hand-over-the-heart was adopted. (On June 22, 1942, the pledge was included in the U.S. Flag Code, but Congress gave it the modern hand-over-the-heart gesture. There is probably one overriding reason why Congress interfered: to make everyone drop the straight-arm salute, which was becoming very embarassing and very revealing. The US had entered WWII on December 7, 1941 against Japan after Pearl Harbor. On December 11, 1941 Germany and Italy declared war on the United States and the U.S. declared war on Germany and Italy.)

It is interesting to note that Upham's father had operated a school in New Hampshire that included Roman and Greek classics and Upham had attended that school.   It is not clear how this might have influenced the “Roman salute” myth that eventually arose about the straight-armed salute.

Upham was the head of the premium department of the Youth’s Companion Magazine and was also a junior partner in its firm, the Perry Mason Company of Boston, which was owned by Daniel S. Ford, uncle-by-marriage to Upham.

Ford had supported churches where Francis Bellamy preached socialism. Ford was attracted to socialism and was interested in the Social Gospel which, to his friend Francis Bellamy, meant Christian Socialism.  At his death Ford bequeathed almost one million dollars to the Baptist Social Union of Boston, and that money was used to build Ford Hall, the meeting place of the Ford Hall Forum, which still exists.  In leaving money to the Forum, Ford said that the Social Union and the nation should foster closer personal relations between Christian businessman and the workingman because of the latter's "religious indifference, his feverish unrest and his belief that businessmen and capital are his enemies.”

Before Bellamy worked for the Youth’s Companion, Upham had promoted the use of the Flag in government schools.  In 1891 and 1892, Upham coordinated a national celebration of Columbus focused on government schools and a flag ceremony with the as yet unwritten pledge. Upham  wrote many drafts of a pledge and asked for comments from the magazine’s staff.  He was never happy with his drafts and he asked Bellamy to take over.

The only well known flag salute at that time was Colonel Balch's salute, written in 1889.  That salute went as follows: "We give our heads and our hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one Flag."  During the speel, the youngsters would point at their heads, their heart and then at the flag.  Thus, Balch’s chant ended with a straight arm pointing at the flag.  Balch had first used his pledge on Flag Day, June 14th, in his free kindergarten for New York City's poor and immigrants where he served as a principal. It seems to have become a daily salute in the classroom for all of his students.

Bellamy and Upham wanted a better pledge.

When Bellamy finished writing the pledge in August, 1892, he showed it to Upham.  The pledge still did not have a salute.  Upham came to attention, snapped his heels together and chanted, "I pledge allegiance to my flag," and he stretched out his right arm and hand with palm up while he recited the rest of the pledge.

Later, the first program for the pledge stated: “At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil give the Flag the military salute - right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one Nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all." At the words, "to my Flag," the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, towards the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation.; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.

Because of Bellamy’s military socialism and his addition of the military salute, the pledge’s salute evolved into the Nazi-style salute.

Government schools teach that the pledge was created to sell flags to schools and Francis Bellamy is described as an advertising pioneer.  That is a whitewashed piece of the whole story.  A better description is that Bellamy was a propaganda pioneer, comparable to Leni Riefenstahl.

Germans learned bad American behavior via old films, via WWI, and via the widespread use of the straight-arm salute by German-American groups (including the German American Bund) in the USA, and from Germans who were educated in the USA or resided in the USA, and vice versa. It  led to its adoption later by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party).

Bellamy believed that government schools with pledges and flags were needed to brainwash children to embrace nationalism, militarism, and socialism.

Bellamy wanted the government to takeover everything and impose the military’s “efficiency,” as he said.   It is the origin of the modern military-socialist complex.

Bellamy wanted a flag over every school because he wanted to nationalize and militarize everything, including all schools, and eliminate all of the better alternatives. During Bellamy’s time the government was taking over education.

Bellamy wanted government schools to ape the military.  Government schools were intended to create an “industrial army” (another Bellamy phrase, and the word “army” was not metaphorical) and to help nationalize everything else. 

Because of the Bellamy way of thinking, government-schools spread and they mandated segregation by law and taught racism as official policy and did so even after the National Socialists were defeated, and well beyond.

Thereafter, the government's segregation legacy caused more police-state racism of forced busing that destroyed communities and neighborhoods and deepened hostilities.

Because of the Bellamy way of thinking, government-schools spread and they mandated the Nazi-style salute by law, flags in every classroom, and daily robotic chanting of the pledge of allegiance in military formation like Pavlov's lapdogs of the state.

The bizarre practices served as an example for three decades before they were adopted by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

When Jesse Owens competed in the 1936 Olympics in Germany, his neighbors attended segregated government schools where they saluted the flag with the Nazi salute.

As under Nazism, children in the USA (including Jehovah's Witnesses and blacks and the Jewish and others) attended government schools where segregation was imposed by law, where racism was taught as official policy, and where they were required by law to perform the Nazi salute and robotically chant a pledge to a flag. If they refused, then they were persecuted and expelled from government schools and had to use the many better alternatives. There were also acts of physical violence.

The hypnotic "Sieg Heil" salute to a flag symbol mesmerized Americans long before it brainwashed Germans.

Jehovah's Witnesses were among the first people to publicly fight the government and its pledge ritual in the USA, during the same time that they fought it in Nazi Germany.  They eventually achieved total victory over Nazi socialism.  They achieved only partial victory over similar socialism in the USA.
 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they could not be forced to perform the pledge.  

The Bellamys are how America became so red, white and screwed. The Government's schools still exist, the federal flag brands government schools, and government's teachers must chant the pledge daily. Laws still make teachers lead children in robotic chants of the socialist’s pledge daily, on cue from the government.The pledge gesture was altered and explicit school segregation by government ended. Jehovah's Witnesses and other children in government schools must watch the ritual performed by others. Students are kept ignorant of the pledge's original salute and history.

That is why the pledge still exists.  The pledge is proof of the government's low self esteem.

Those are the many reasons why Francis Bellamy and his also-famous cousin Edward Bellamy are known as the "American Hitlers" and as the first "American Nazis."

Germany and the entire world is owed an apology for the horrid influence that government had inside the U.S. in promoting socialized schools, military socialism within government schools, the creation of industrial armies, and daily robotic pledges of allegiance in military formation with the infamous straight-arm salute.


Edward Bellamy, Industrial Army, Military Socialism
Edward Bellamy Swastika, Industrial Army

Julian West, James Upham, Youths Companion, Nationalism, Industrial Army, Theosophical, Theosophy, Blavatsky
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