The pledge (1892) was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior in the USA, adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party. See the discoveries of the historian Dr. Rex Curry. http://rexcurry.net/pledge_of_allegiance_videos_images.html
See the shocking old photos and videos of American children doing the nazi salute as part of forced robotic chanting daily on command in government schools (socialist schools). http://rexcurry.net/pledge-allegiance-pledge-allegiance2.jpg
The gesture resulted because Francis Bellamy’s initial gesture was a military salute that was then extended outward to point at the flag.
Bellamy was a self-proclaimed national socialist, as was his cousin Edward Bellamy, and they influenced German national socialists, their dogma, rituals (robotic chanting in unison on command with Nazi salutes) and symbols (swastikas used as crossed S-letters for socialism). The gesture spread to Adolf Hitler via Ernst Hanfstaengl, a Harvard grad and an intimate of Hitler.