25 April 2008
What's going on here?
These are American children reciting the "Pledge of Allegiance." The hand gesture is the "Bellamy salute," created by and named after the man who wrote the pledge. It was instituted in 1892 and continued for the next 50 years. In 1942 the gesture was replaced by the hand over the heart.
Interestingly, the Wiki discussion notes that before Pearl Harbor, when Charles Lindbergh opposed American entry into WWII, his pro-intervention detractors photographed him making the Bellamy salute during the Pledge of Allegiance but the flag was left out of the photos to suggest that Lindbergh was offering a Hitler salute.