The American Legion and the Massachusetts Department of The American Legion File Brief in Support of Pledge of Allegiance

August 23, 2013


Legion Asks the Massachusetts Supreme Court to Confirm That the Pledge Inspires Patriotism and Does Not Violate the Massachusetts Constitution

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, August 22, 2013 – Today, The American Legion and The American Legion Department of Massachusetts filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Supreme Judicial Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts supporting that the Pledge of Allegiance—as voluntarily recited by countless U.S. school children each day to foster national unity and good citizenship—is a ceremonial act of patriotism that does not violate the Massachusetts State constitution.

View a copy of the brief.

The 2.6 million members of The American Legion, which convened the first National Flag Conference in Washington, D.C. in 1923, have a long-standing interest in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. In 1954, the Legion was also active in securing enactment of the Act of June 14, 1954, which added the words “under God” to the Pledge.  The law firms of Wiley Rein LLP, McCarter & English and Liberty Institute represent The Legion in this case.

“I am surprised and saddened that there are some who are saying the Pledge of Allegiance may be good enough for the U.S. Supreme Court and the rest of the nation, but it is not good enough for the citizens of Massachusetts,” said Hiram Sasser, Liberty Institute Litigation Director.

In 1984, The United States Supreme Court observed that “the language ‘One nation under God,’ as part of the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag … recited by thousands of public school children—and adults—every year” is a “reference to our religious heritage” in the same vein as “official references to the value and invocation of Divine guidance in deliberations and pronouncements of the Founding Fathers.”

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