This is the only place that collects and shows historic photos of the
original socialist salute to the U.S. flag. This is the only place
that tells you the WHOLE story, not the "government-school" version.
The salute was like the salute of the monstrous National Socialist
German Workers' Party.
to learn more see the bottom
to learn more see the bottom
The issue of gun rights and the Pledge of Allegiance
are both at issue in a case that is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.
The case is U.S. v Wonschik at http://rexcurry.net/pledge4.html
The Pledge of Allegiance court case is a blessing
in disguise, by providing a temporary delay. It allows the fight
to widen against the entire Pledge, not just two words. As a libertarian
and a lawyer, I am spearheading efforts to expand the litigation as a pro
bono service to the public to liberate Americans from government pushing
the totalitarian Pledge. http://rexcurry.net/pledge1.html
“Pledge II” will be a blockbuster sequel. The
first case led to scary discoveries about the Pledge’s pedigree. A libertarian
made the historic news-breaking discovery that exposed the Pledge as the
origin of the salute of the monstrous National Socialist German Workers’
Party (Nazis). It is a myth that the Pledge’s original straight-arm
salute is an ancient Roman salute. http://rexcurry.net/pledgesalute.html
The Pledge was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy,
a self-proclaimed National Socialist in the U.S., who wanted a government
takeover of education to produce an "industrial army" for the authoritarian
vision portrayed in his cousin Edward Bellamy's book "Looking Backward."
The Bellamy cousins promoted national socialism worldwide for decades.
Their acts resulted in racist and segregated government schools that lasted
into the 1960's.
The pledge is a great issue for advocates of freedom.
Americans can change the entire "pledge issue" from a limited debate about
two words, to a liberating debate about government, totalitarianism and
government schools. http://rexcurry.net/pledge1.html
I am filing another amicus curiae brief in a case
that is already exposing the entire Pledge of Allegiance, a case that is
more important than Newdow’s case was, though it is virtually unknown: U.S.
v. Wonschik, case #03-10249 at the U.S. Supreme Court. http://rexcurry.net/pledge4.html
Wonschik argues that judges should not lead jurors
in reciting the Pledge because jurors feel forced to recite the Pledge, and
that criminal defendants are denied a fair trial due to the appearance that
Judges favor the prosecution. http://rexcurry.net/pledgelaws.html
I am also a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers,
and we have already filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Wonschik
on behalf of the NACDL organization.
People ask if the Pledge of Allegiance promotes authoritarianism.
Yes it does, not only paying homage to a man who wanted the Pledge used
to promote government schools and authoritarianism, who wanted government
schools operated as a socialist monopoly, and to end all of the better alternatives,
and who wanted government schools used to create an "industrial army" (a
Bellamy phrase) modeled after the military, for a socialist economy and
Everyone knows that the Bellamy cousins succeeded
in many ways, in that most schools are government schools, where the socialist’s
pledge is still robotically chanted, and where children and their parents
have learned to accept the government school monopoly, social security,
socialist slave numbers, gun control, etc.
The pledge is usually recited because it is required
by state laws for government schools, and done collectively as a robotic
chant daily on cue from the government.
The pledge's history is suppressed because it is so
un-libertarian. As strange as it may seem, the ideas that inspired the
pledge's author also influenced the Holocaust, and the bigger socialist
Wholecaust that occurred under the industrial armies of the socialist trio
of atrocities (see http://rexcurry.net/socialists.jpg) in which the Union
of Soviet Socialist Republics killed 62 million; the People's Republic
of China killed 35 million; and the National Socialist German Workers’
Party killed 21 million. http://rexcurry.net/pledgebackward.html
It is hard to imagine a better issue begging for the
correct arguments to be made. Please help make the Pledge of Allegiance debate
into a meaningful debate about liberty.
On July 4th, declare your independence from the Pledge
of Allegiance. If schoolchildren should recite anything, then they
should recite the Declaration of Independence, not the Pledge of Allegiance.
They are mutually exclusive and contradictory.
Support individualism, not authoritarianism.
If the government’s antidisestablishmentarianism does not end, then we will
be living in an even bigger police state. Pledge your independence,
and don’t declare your allegiance.
Tom Brokaw, anchor and managing editor of the top-rated "NBC Nightly
News," and Rex Curry, lawyer and libertarian commentator, were the first
and only journalists honored for exposing the "National Socialist German Workers'
Party" to the public in Google News' search engine on D-Day of 2004. On
that date, June 6, 2004, and for 30 days or more thereafter Google News
showed only Brokaw's and Curry's use of the full phrase in Google News archives.
Google News selects from 4,500 news sources updated continuously. http://rexcurry.net/google.html
RexCurry.net is the only website that collects and displays true historic
photographs of the original Pledge of Allegiance (with the straight-arm
that site is provided as an educational service to the public even though
RexCurry.net is not even a mainstream news media site.
Some law students are writing an amicus brief to the court and the students
are trying to find out how many judges in the U.S. make the courtroom audience
and jurors to say the Pledge of Allegiance. The criminal charge in
the case has no allegation of violence and is a classic example of how the
federal government is taking over criminal prosecutions from states and
doing so by manufacturing jurisdiction with charges that do not address
any actual act(s) of violence, nor any acts that are the actual origin
of the case, but do so by criminalizing non-violent aspects in ways that
arguably violate the 2nd amendment and the right to keep and bear arms,
instead of leaving the state to pursue the intelligent charges involving
any actual violence. The federal criminal charge in the case involves
the non-violent act of possession of gun parts.
Here is the message from the students who are doing the amicus brief:
Thank you for speaking with me the other day concerning an amicus brief that
myself and another student will be filing with the United States Supreme
Court. A federal district judge made the court room, including potential
jurors recite the "Pledge of Allegiance" prior to the start of the trial.
We want to find out how prevalent this practice is. The question that
we would like posted is as follows:
1) Are you aware of any instances where a judge made the courtroom recite
the "Pledge of Allegiance" in the courtroom, particularly in criminal
a) If yes, how
often did that occur?
b) What court?
What judge if known?
c) At what point
in the proceedings?
d) Was the jury
present? Did the jury have to participate?
Because the original post was to a specific list, I have not repeated
the student's emails, however I will be happy to forward responses to the
students (email responses to email@example.com ) regarding the Pledge of Allegiance
in courtrooms elsewhere.
My response to the students was: I enjoyed your note re: the judge who
makes everyone pledge allegiance in court. It would be great if you
could attach photographs of the original pledge of allegiance to your brief.
as well as filling your brief and arguments with the terrifying origins and
history of the pledge.
By the way, remember that jurors today are mostly from government schools,
and that means that not only have they been robotically chanting the pledge
en masse and on cue from the government daily for their entire education,
worse still, they were educated by the government (and that was not originally
the case in this country, and education/schools are no where mentioned
in the constitution, and in fact government was taking over education at
the same time that the Pledge was created, and that is one of the purposes
of the original Pledge of Allegiance celebration as described at http://rexcurry.net/pledge4.html
). Therefore, all of your arguments against the Pledge in court are
even more compelling for objecting to government schools and to jurors
from government schools. Afterall, we know that jurors were taught
by government in government schools that they are required to render verdicts
of guilty based on evidence in cases where they should always render verdicts
of acquittal (drugs, medical marijuana, vices, prostitution, gambling,
gun possession, and all non-violent consensual activity that is criminalized)
- cases that should not involve criminal charges at all. A Pledge
of Allegiance in a courtroom is just reaffirming what the government has
already taught the jurors in
Here is an amusing response from a lawyer: "We had a D.C. Superior
Court judge who used to do this every morning. All the criminal defense
lawyers (well, all two or three who were in the courtroom at 9:01 am) would
mumble "Objection" and sit there during the pledge. I mean, pledging
allegiance to the flag of the United States was almost like pledging allegiance
to the U.S. Attorney at that table over there. It was a running gag.
The Judge was also the only criminal division judge I ever saw who would
start the day standing with his back to the courtroom. Seems to me
those old Marines often got more guts than brains."
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. FRANK
HERBERT WONSCHIK, JR., Defendant-Appellant.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT
January 6, 2004, Filed
PRIOR HISTORY: [*1] APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES
DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO. (D.C. NO. 01-CR-410).
COUNSEL: Jill M. Wichlens, Assistant Federal Public Defender,
(Michael G. Katz, Federal Public Defender, with her on the brief) Denver,
Colorado for Defendant-Appellant.
Robert M. Russel, Assistant United States Attorney, (John W. Suthers,
United States Attorney, with him on the brief), Denver, Colorado for Plaintiff-Appellee.
JUDGES: Before MURPHY, BRORBY, and McCONNELL, Circuit Judges.
OPINION: McCONNELL, Circuit Judge.
In this appeal, we consider (1) whether a jury instruction that defined
"machinegun" as that term is defined in § 5845(b) of the National Firearms
Act (26 U.S.C. § 5845(b)) constructively amended a defendant's indictment
for possessing "parts from which a machine gun could be assembled," and (2)
whether a district judge's leading jurors in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
during voir dire violated a defendant's right to a fair trial. We answer
both questions in the negative and, therefore, AFFIRM the judgment of the
On the evening of November 19, 1999, Appellant Frank Herbert Wonschik,
Jr. [*2] was home alone at his house in a suburban neighborhood
in Aurora, Colorado. That night became memorable for Mr. Wonschik's neighbors
when they heard gunshots coming from inside Mr. Wonschik's house and noticed
bullets passing through the walls of their own house. The neighbors immediately
summoned the police, who arrived outside Mr. Wonschik's house at about
Mr. Wonschik staggered down his driveway to meet the police. He was obviously
drunk. He held up a large, M-80 style firecracker and a lighter and asked
the police, "Did you hear that loud bang?" Tr. 208. The officers, for safety
reasons, placed Mr. Wonschik in the back of a patrol car. Although the
officers asked him no questions, Mr. Wonschik began a bizarre soliloquy.
He stated that he had received death threats, that Colombian drug lords
were watching him, that one of his neighbors was out to get him, that he
was a millionaire who spent $ 500,000 a year on lawyers, and that he had
no idea how the holes in his wall got there.
The police promptly obtained a search warrant and entered Mr. Wonschik's
house. On the wall in the main room downstairs, the police observed a poster
of a wolf with bullet holes in it and several [*3] spent 10-millimeter
casings nearby. It was evident that Mr. Wonschik, in his inebriated condition,
had fired several rounds from a 10-millimeter pistol into the wolf and
that those rounds had passed through Mr. Wonschik's walls and prompted
the neighbors to call the police.
The officers also discovered, on a table in the same room, a partially
disassembled Colt AR-15 rifle, which is the civilian, semiautomatic version
of the military's M-16 automatic rifle. n1 The police also found many boxes
of 5.56 millimeter ammunition for the AR-15, as well as a coffee can full
of spent 5.56 casings. The officers then searched a bedroom upstairs, where
they found, in a filing cabinet, a bag containing several small gun parts.
The police determined that the parts were apparently the components necessary
to convert a semiautomatic AR-15 into a fully automatic M-16, including
an M-16 bolt carrier, M-16 hammers, an M-16A2 trigger, M-16 disconnectors,
disconnector springs, a selector switch, a three-shot burst cam, and two
drop-in auto sears. Finally, the police discovered, in a different bedroom,
an instruction manual that explained how to convert a semiautomatic AR-15
into a fully automatic weapon. [*4] The manual warned that it
was illegal to possess M-16 parts.
n1 The Colt AR-15 is also known as the Colt Model SP-1, which is how
Mr. Wonschik's rifle is designated in the indictment. The indictment describes
the weapon as ".223 caliber," which is equivalent to 5.56 millimeter. R.
Mr. Wonschik was eventually indicted by a federal grand jury on one count
of illegal possession of a machine gun in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(o). The grand jury specifically charged Mr. Wonschik with possessing
"a combination of parts . . . from which a machine gun could be assembled."
R. doc. 1. At trial, a government expert witness testified that he installed
some of the M-16 parts found in the filing cabinet into Mr. Wonschik's AR-15.
The expert explained that he was unable to make the weapon function with
either of the drop-in auto sears installed, so he tested the modified AR-15
without an auto sear. n2 He told the jury that he twice loaded the modified
weapon with two rounds and that both times [*5] the weapon fired
automatically, meaning that both rounds fired with one pull of the trigger.
On cross-examination, the government expert stated that he did not know
whether the modified AR-15 would successfully fire automatically until he
n2 In an M-16, the "auto sear" facilitates proper timing of automatic
firing by catching the hammer when the bolt carrier forces it back after
firing and then releasing the hammer after the bolt carrier has moved forward
in preparation for the next cycle. Tr. 357. A "drop-in" auto sear replicates
the function of an M-16 sear in an AR-15 that has been converted into an
automatic weapon by the addition of M-16 fire control parts. Tr. 309. An
auto sear can, by itself, constitute a "machinegun" under the National Firearms
Act. United States v. Cash, 149 F.3d 706, 706-08 (7th Cir. 1998).
Mr. Wonschik's defense was that his weapon, as assembled by the government
expert, was not "automatic," and therefore not a machine gun, and that
the government could [*6] not prove that he knew that his combination
of parts could be assembled into a functioning machine gun. In support
of this theory, Mr. Wonschik put his own expert witness on the stand. The
defense expert testified that Mr. Wonschik's AR-15, as modified by the
government expert, did not qualify as an automatic weapon. Because the
modified weapon did not contain an auto sear, which the defense expert
characterized as "an integral part of the fire control system," Tr. 380,
the government expert was only able to get Mr. Wonschik's rifle to fire
automatically by inducing a malfunction. Mr. Wonschik's expert also testified
that he would not know whether a weapon modified in this way would actually
fire automatically without testing it.
Defense counsel moved for a judgment of acquittal on the ground that
the government had provided insufficient evidence that he knew that his
parts could be assembled into a machine gun. The district court denied
the motion and submitted the case to the jury. The jury was instructed
that the government must prove that the defendant knew that the relevant
parts constituted "a combination of parts from which a machine gun can
be assembled." R. doc. 42, Instruction [*7] 12. The instructions
defined "machine gun" to include "any weapon which shoots, is designed to
shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically." Id. The jury
convicted Mr. Wonschik of the one-count indictment. The district judge
subsequently sentenced Mr. Wonschik to 27 months' imprisonment.
The morning before Mr. Wonschik's trial began, the parties and the district
judge gathered in the courtroom before a panel of 47 potential jurors in
order to conduct voir dire. The judge introduced himself to the panel, and
then began speaking to the panel about the events of September 11 and the
obligations of American citizens. He referred to a young family friend in
the Marines who was deployed to the Middle East, and then said:
This kid is off to fight a war for us. The least we can do is to uphold
what he holds sacred. He pledged an oath to support and defend the United
States against all its enemies; and he expect us, you and me, to uphold the
Constitution of the United States. And that's what we're going to do in
this room today. And you people, citizens of the United States, are going
to bring life to the Constitution. The Constitution is nothing but a shriveled
piece [*8] of paper unless people like you breathe life into
I didn't do it before September 11, the Pledge of Allegiance, in the
morning we begin a trial. It isn't that I didn't put stock in it. Of course,
I did. But I just didn't think it needed to intrude on the business of
the Court every time we pick a jury trial. I was wrong. Each of us, me
included, on an occasion of this importance, needs to remind ourselves
of our obligation to our country.
Would you join me now in the Pledge of Allegiance.Tr. 16. The judge and
jurors then apparently recited the Pledge of Allegiance as it is codified
in 4 U.S.C. § 4: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States
of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
On appeal, Mr. Wonschik contends that his conviction must be overturned
because (1) the jury instructions effectively amended the indictment; and
(2) the trial judge's leading the Pledge of Allegiance during voir dire deprived
him of a fair trial.
The jury convicted Mr. Wonschik of a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(o),
which makes it unlawful "for any [*9] person to transfer or
possess a machinegun." The related definition section refers to the definition
of "machinegun" provided in § 5845(b) of the National Firearms Act.
18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(23). The National Firearms Act in turn provides the
following definition:(b) Machinegun. The term "machinegun" means any weapon
which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot,
automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function
of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any
such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination
of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun,
and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if
such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.26 U.S.C.
The indictment closely follows this statutory language. The grand jury
alleged that Mr. Wonschik
did unlawfully and knowingly possess a machine gun, to wit: a combination
of parts, in the possession and control of FRANK HERBERT WONSCHIK, Jr.,
namely: a [*10] Colt, Model SP1, .223 caliber, semi-automatic
rifle, an M16 selector, an M16 bolt carrier, M16 hammers, M16A2 trigger,
M16 disconnectors, disconnector springs, and a three shot burst cam, from
which a machine gun could be assembled . . . .R. doc. 1.
Finally, Jury Instruction 12, which Mr. Wonschik claims impermissibly
broadened the indictment, also tracks the statutory language:
In order to convict the defendant . . ., the government must prove each
of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
First: That the defendant knowingly possessed a machine gun; and
Second: That the defendant knew that the Colt, Model SP1, .223 caliber,
semi automatic rifle; and M16 bolt carrier, M16 hammers, M16A2 trigger, M16
disconnectors, disconnectors [sic] springs, and a three shot burst cam, was
a combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled.
As used in this instruction, the term "machine gun" includes any weapon
which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot,
automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function
of the trigger. The term "machine gun" also includes any combination of parts
from which [*11] a machine gun can be assembled if such parts
are in the possession or under the control of a person.R. doc. 42.
Mr. Wonschik and the government both agree that the statute prohibits
possession of a "combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled"
and that the indictment charged Mr. Wonschik with possession of such parts.
The dispute is over how to define the term "machinegun" as it refers to the
result of assembling the parts. Specifically, Mr. Wonschik contends that "machinegun"
here means a gun actually capable of firing automatically. His position
is therefore that, under the indictment, the government was required to
prove that he knowingly possessed a combination of parts from which a functioning
automatic weapon could be assembled. Instruction 12, however, defined "machinegun"
more broadly to include weapons "designed to shoot" automatically, as well
as weapons that actually shoot automatically. Thus, according to the instruction,
the jury did not have to find that Mr. Wonschik's parts could be assembled
into a functioning automatic weapon, because the instruction allowed conviction
on the basis that his parts could be assembled into a weapon that was
[*12] merely "designed" to shoot automatically.
The government apparently agrees that the instruction allowed conviction
on that basis. However, according to the government, the instruction did
not impermissibly broaden the indictment because the instruction's interpretation
of "machinegun" to include weapons designed to shoot automatically is perfectly
consistent with how "machinegun" is defined in § 5845(b). Because
the indictment tracks that same statutory language, it is reasonable, in
the government's view, to interpret the term "machinegun" in the indictment
as referring to weapons designed to shoot automatically, as well as to actually
functioning automatic weapons.
Mr. Wonschik's trial counsel did not object to Instruction 12. We therefore
review his constructive amendment claim for plain error. United States
v. Cavely, 318 F.3d 987, 999 (10th Cir. 2003). n3 When trial counsel fails
to object, the appellate court will liberally construe the indictment in
favor of validity. United States v. Phillips, 869 F.2d 1361, 1364-65 (10th
Cir. 1988). We will only find that a constructive amendment occurred when
"the evidence presented at trial, together [*13] with the jury
instructions, raises the possibility that the defendant was convicted of
an offense other than that charged in the indictment." United States v.
Apodaca, 843 F.2d 421, 428 (10th Cir. 1988) (citing Stirone v. United States,
361 U.S. 212, 215-19, 4 L. Ed. 2d 252, 80 S. Ct. 270 (1960)).
n3 There is some uncertainty in our precedents as to whether a constructive
amendment of an indictment by jury instructions to which the defendant
did not object is reversible per se or reversible only where the amendment
"affects substantial rights" and "seriously affects the fairness, integrity
or public reputation of judicial proceedings." Compare United States v.
Levine, 41 F.3d 607, 617 n.13 (10th Cir. 1994) with Cavely, 318 F.3d at
999. Because we conclude that no constructive amendment occurred here, we
need not resolve this question.
We are not persuaded that Mr. Wonschik's interpretation of § 5845(b)
and the corresponding language in the indictment is correct. [*14]
One serious problem with Mr. Wonschik's reading is that it would result
in giving the term "machinegun" two separate meanings within the same subsection
of the National Firearms Act. Mr. Wonschik contends that the term "machinegun"
in the phrase "parts from which a machinegun can be assembled" should mean
something like "a weapon that actually fires automatically," even though
the first sentence of the same subsection expressly states that "the term
'machinegun' means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can
be readily restored to shoot, automatically." 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b) (emphasis
added). Where, as here, a statute begins with a sentence stating what a
term "means," and then repeats that term later in the same subsection, it
seems reasonable to give the later-appearing term the same meaning that
it was given in the first sentence. Cf. Estate of Cowart v. Nicklos Drilling
Co., 505 U.S. 469, 479, 120 L. Ed. 2d 379, 112 S. Ct. 2589 (1992) (referring
to the basic canon of statutory construction that a term or phrase should
generally be given the same meaning each time it appears in the same act).
Mr. Wonschik has provided no authority supporting [*15] his
claim that "machinegun" should mean less at the end of the paragraph than
it does at the beginning.
There does appear to be a confusing circularity to the treatment of "machinegun"
in § 5845(b). The statute offers a definition of machinegun as "any
weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to
shoot, automatically," and then goes on to state that "the term shall also
include" the frame or receiver of a machinegun, parts designed and intended
to convert a weapon into a machinegun, and parts from which a machinegun
can be assembled. Thus, the statute seems circularly to say that a "machinegun"
is, among other things, a "receiver of a machinegun" or "parts that can be
made into a machinegun." However, any resulting confusion can be resolved
through close attention to the subsection's grammatical structure. Subsection
(b), as noted above, provides a primary definition of the term "machinegun"
and then sets apart this primary definition with a period. A new sentence
then states that the "term shall also include" receivers or parts bearing
some relation to a "machinegun." This structure suggests that, where "machinegun"
or "such weapon" appears in the second [*16] part of the subsection,
as an attribute of receivers or parts, the statute implicitly substitutes
in the primary definition of "machinegun" provided in the first sentence.
This reading provides a consistent definition for "machinegun" and "such
weapon" (namely, "any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be
readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual
reloading, by a single function of the trigger") each time these terms appear
within the subsection. Thus, the phrase "a combination of parts from which
a machinegun can be assembled" actually means "a combination of parts from
which [any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored
to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by
a single function of the trigger] can be assembled." This is precisely the
definition set forth in Instruction 12. It follows that the instruction did
not amend the indictment, but instead correctly tracked the statutory definition
on which the indictment was based.
Although Mr. Wonschik's trial counsel did not object to the jurors' recitation
of the Pledge of Allegiance, he now contends on appeal that the district
[*17] judge violated the Constitution. Mr. Wonschik argues that the
district judge's action was unconstitutional under West Virginia State
Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 87 L. Ed. 1628, 63 S. Ct.
1178 (1943), in which the Supreme Court held that a state board of education
could not compel its students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. However,
the question whether recitation of the pledge in this context violates
Barnette is irrelevant, because Mr. Wonschik does not claim that he was
compelled or invited to recite the pledge, and he does not have third-party
standing to raise claims on behalf of the potential jurors. See Terrell v.
INS, 157 F.3d 806, 809 (10th Cir. 1998).
Mr. Wonschik's more serious argument is that jurors' recitation of the
pledge, in a case where the United States is a party, violates the other
party's right to a fair trial because the jury is in effect pledging its
allegiance to one party in the case. Mr. Wonschik contends that the jury
was particularly likely to draw this inference in his case because immediately
following recitation of the pledge, the district judge addressed the prosecutor
and asked whether "the United States [*18] of America" was ready
to proceed. Tr. 16.
We recognize that trial judges, among their many other responsibilities,
should take care not to create the impression that it is appropriate for
the judge or the jury to favor the prosecution simply because the court
and the prosecution are both institutions of the United States. However,
we do not think it reasonable to suppose that the jurors inferred from the
Pledge of Allegiance a patriotic obligation to serve as a rubber stamp for
the prosecution. Rather, we believe the pledge represents, and evoked in
the jurors' minds, a more enlightened patriotism, fidelity to which required
them to uphold our nation's Constitution and laws by sitting as impartial
finders of fact in the matter before them. That is as likely to benefit
a defendant as to prejudice him.
For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.
All pending motions are denied.
The following excerpt is from an article in the New York Times -
West Virginia Banishes 'Nazi' Salute in Schools
By The United Press. on February 2, 1942, Monday
CHARLESTON, W. Va., Feb. 1 -- West Virginia has decided to have its school
children salute the American flag the way grown-ups do because the present
classroom salute is "too much like Hitler's." The change was agreed upon
by the State Board of Education after a conference with patriotic and educational
organizations which had reported complaints from parents.
Excerpts from New York Times March 9, 1937, Tuesday -
SCHOOLS HERE TRY 'NAZI-TYPE' SALUTE; Row Raised Over New Pledge to Flag
With Extended Arm--Principals Assail Idea
A new type of flag salute, recommended by the State Department of Education
and submitted to the principals through a circular issued by Harold G. Campbell,
Superintendent of Schools, has brought confusion and uncertainty as to the
proper method of pledging allegiance to the American flag, it was learned
In the traditional military salute the hand is raised to the head, at the
proper time raised straight and then whipped briskly to the side.
THE OLD AND NEW SCHOOLBOY SALUTE TO THE FLAG Students of Bryant High School
in Queens demonstrating the change of posture as the Pledge of Allegiance
"We still have the traditional salute in the New York City schools," he
said. ... "I can see no cause of alarm-this salute: does not try to copy
Army Salute for Children October 3, 1941, Friday New York Times
... use the regulation Army salute in the daily pledge of allegiance to
the flag. ... the arm-extended salute because of its similarity to the Nazi
The Syracuse Herald, Thursday, March 25, 1937
Rural School Choice OF Flag Salutes
.. military fashion as the first words of pledge of allegiance are Although
the ... salute is nothing either Nazi or Fascist about the suggested Mr Shingle