period following the adoption of the American Pledge of Allegiance in 1892, it
was common practice to say the pledge while doing what was called the Bellamy
Salute with your right arm extended at a slightly upward angle with the palm
open and fingers pointing directly ahead. When fascist movements in Europe
started using a similar gesture in the build up to World War 2, the salute
became problematic and in 1942 the US Congress decreed that the Pledge of Allegiance
should said with the right hand over the heart.