A recent photo of Donald Trump and some of his supporter “swearing loyalty” with the right hand raised has been criticized by certain groups as “Nazi-like”. These critics are ignorant of their heritage to suggest that this gesture is un-American. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As any of the many historically astute and well educated Trump Supporters can testify, this salute is as American as baseball and apple pie.
What they are performing is known as the “Bellamy” salute. Named for the founder of the “Pledge of Allegiance” in 1892 (Francis Bellamy) the Bellamy salute found widespread use, mostly among American school children and youth groups.
Based on the Ancient Roman “Ave” salute this raised arm display was used for almost 50 years until the news reels of the time demonstrated it’s resemblance to the Nazi “Sieg Heil” salute. The hand over the heart salute was quickly adopted.
The irony, in this case, is that Trumps choice of salute was created by a Socialist (Bellamy) and made no mention of “God”. (Any true American knows that religion has no place in politics.) So Trump, in his haste to be the greatest of Patriots, perhaps foolishly, choose a piece of Americana more in line with Bernie Sanders…