less than 1 minute read

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette

The Flag Salute

Can schoolchildren be compelled to state the Pledge of Allegiance or salute the U.S. flag? Those who say yes believe that children do not have a constitutional right to refuse to do so. Advocates say that loyalty to the nation and the government is important and that saluting the flag is one way to teach children to have loyalty for the country.

But those opposed to enforced flag salutes say that children should not have to make a statement of loyalty if they do not wish. To make them do so, in turn, makes the action worthless. They also believe that children who are compelled to say the Pledge of Allegiance or salute the flag may one day resent the country that forced them to make these false statements or gestures.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette - Significance, Supreme Court Holds That Compulsory Flag Ceremonies Violate Constitutional Guarantees Of Free Speech, The Flag Salute