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At issue in Minersville School District v. Gobitis (1940) was the constitutionality of a mandatory flag salute ceremony in school. A local board of education required that both students and teachers participate in a daily flag salute ceremony that included the Pledge of Allegiance and extended hand to salute the American flag. Two children who were Jehovah's Witnesses refused to salute the national flag based on their religious beliefs and were expelled. Insofar as Pennsylvania law made school attendance compulsory, the parents placed their children in a private school. The father then filed suit on behalf of his children and himself challenging the flag salute on the ground that it infringed on their religious beliefs in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. After a federal trial ...

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