WV State Board v. Barnette

Challenging the constitutionality of mandatory pledging


Due to the court case, Minersville School District V. Gobits, West Virginia amended its constitution so that schools required teachers and students to say the pledge and salute the flag. This conflicted with the beliefs of Jehova's Witnesses in the state, and the Barnettes took the issue to the district.

Did the compulsory flag-salute for public schoolchildren violate the first amendment?

The supreme court decided 6-3 that requiring students to salute and say the pledge violated the first amendment, that being the right to free speech, or not to speak, along with the establishment clause, requiring separation of church and state.


Since the supreme court made the decision, there have been a few more court cases in which the court sided with different religious creeds. This has expanded people rights in how one's religious beliefs might earn them societal and lawful exceptions.