When the Pledge of Allegiance was originally written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, who was – ironically – a socialist magazine writer, he included instructions on how to properly salute the flag while reciting his oath.
The Pledge originally was not to use the term “one nation under god”.
Dubbed “The Ballamy Salute” after its creator, school children were instructed to recite the pledge with the right arm out in a stiff salute outstretched to the flag. This practice actually was adopted and continued until the early 1940’s when it was noticed that the American salute bore a striking resemblance to a salute that another country was using.
Naturally, the salute quickly fell out of style and was replaced by placing the right hand over your heart as we do today.
Using the outstretched salute is a tradition that goes all the way back to the Romans, but after the Nazis, it’s unlikely we’ll see a resurgence of the original Pledge of Allegiance salute anytime soon.