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Benedict Arnold's Oath of Allegiance, May 30, 1778

An oath of allegiance is an oath wherby a subject or citizen acknowledges a duty of allegiance and swears loyalty to monarch or country. In republics, modern oaths specify allegiance to the country in general, or to the country's constitution. For example, officials in the United States, a republic, take an oath of office that includes swearing allegiance to the United States Constitution. However, in a constitutional monarchy, such as in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, oaths are sworn to the monarch.

In feudal times a person would also swear allegiance to his feudal superiors. To this day the oath sworn by freemen of the City of London contains an oath of obedience to the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Oaths of allegiance are commonly required of newly naturalised citizens (see Oath of Citizenship), members of the armed forces, and those assuming public (particularly parliamentary and judicial) office. Clergy in the Church of England are required to take an Oath of Supremacy acknowledging the authority of the British monarch.

A typical example of an oath of allegiance is that sworn by Members of Parliament in the Netherlands:

I swear (affirm) allegiance to the King, to the Statute for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and to the Constitution. I swear (affirm) that I will faithfully perform the duties my office lays upon me. So help me God almighty! (This I declare and affirm)[1]

In many Commonwealth realms all that is required is an oath to the monarch, and not the constitution or state. There have been moves in some of the realms to make the oath of citizenship sworn by new citizens refer to the country rather than the monarch. However, the oaths sworn by judges, members of parliament, etc., have not been changed. All of these moves have not succeeded as the Queen is the personification of the Canadian, British, or Australian state (or that of any other Commonwealth realm). Allegiance sworn to the monarch is the same as to the country, its constitution or flag. The New Zealand Oath of Allegiance still refers to the Queen of New Zealand. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 1999 that the oath of allegiance to a reigning monarch is "reasonably viewed as an affirmation of loyalty to the constitutional principles which support... the workings of representative democracy in the respondent State."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Translated from the 'Wet beëdiging ministers en leden Staten-Generaal' on [1]. (Dutch)
  2. ^ McGuinness v. United Kingdom; Application No. 39511/98, decision June 8, 1999 Reports and Judgements and Decisions 1999/V, ISBN 3-452-24950-6, p. 483

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_allegiance — Please support Wikipedia.
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904 news items

Long War Journal
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:50:06 -0700

An audience member asks bin Laden about his bayat (oath of allegiance) to Mullah Omar, the Taliban's emir. And as The Long War Journal reported on July 15, bin Laden's response likely has bearing on Abu Bakr al Baghdadi's claim to be the new rightful ...
Hartford Courant
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 17:58:15 -0700

Nineteen Connecticut residents, hailing from 15 countries, recited the oath of allegiance, officially earning U.S. citizenship. The ceremony was part of an annual partnership between the Rock Cats and the local office of the U.S. Citizenship and ...
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 11:36:23 -0700

All that seemed a distant echo this week as he stood at the foot of Mount Rushmore and took his oath of allegiance as one of America's newest citizens. "I am so happy," Mohammed, 31, repeated again and again. "And so thankful America gave me ...
Sacramento Bee
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 08:45:00 -0700

WASHINGTON -- The Islamic State has ordered rival Sunni militant groups in Iraq to lay down their arms and swear allegiance. After two days of negotiations in Mosul, the Islamic State told the other Sunni groups that they must take an oath of ...
Mon, 07 Jul 2014 13:03:02 -0700

On a fitting July 4 in Hampshire Superior Court, Northampton, 50 people took the Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. becoming naturalized American citizens. Hailing from 26 countries, they studied American government, integrated civics and had American ...
Eye On Annapolis
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 09:30:00 -0700

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and ...
Sun, 29 Jun 2014 00:25:07 -0700

As part of the oath of allegiance, new citizens must renounce the citizenship of their former countries. "The citizenship oath comes with great liberties and rights," Ramirez added. "Even today, these liberties and rights that we may take for granted ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 19:17:11 -0700

The new citizens took the oath of allegiance within sight of one of America's most revered texts, a copy of the Declaration of Independence, penned by Thomas Jefferson. "It's the first time in history the [words] United States are capitalized," library ...

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