Swearing of the Pledge is accompanied by a salute. In 1942, the US Congress stipulated that the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the US would be the salute.
Based on the Gettysburg Address titled “A New Birth of Freedom.” Citing Lincoln’s words “under God” as defining words, that set the United States apart. Stating without the words “under God”, our pledge could be about any nation.
In memory of the birth day of President Abraham Lincoln, on February 7, 1954; President Dwight Eisenhower, sat in the Lincoln pew, at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, where President Lincoln had attended services.
President Eisenhower was impressed and on February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman, introduced a bill to congress to enact the change. Congress passed the necessary legislation and PresidentEisenhower signed the bill into law, appropriately, on Flag Day – June 14, 1954.
Attached to bills passed in Congress in 2008 and then in 2009 (Section 301(b)(1) of title 36, United States Code), language was included which authorized all active duty military personnel and all veterans in civilian clothes to render a proper hand salute during the raising and lowering of the flag, when the colors are presented, and during the National Anthem.