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

An oath of allegiance is an oath whereby 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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Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Wed, 20 May 2015 08:28:19 -0700

A Labour MP threw Parliamentary convention to one side today by calling for the abolition of the Monarchy before taking his oath of allegiance to the Queen. Richard Burgon, the newly-elected MP for East Leeds, declared that the Royals should be ...


Thu, 07 May 2015 12:52:30 -0700

Hla, Belmaker, and their fellow new Americans all took the Oath of Allegiance, renouncing fealty to any other “foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty” and vowing to “support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America ...
The Sunday Times Sri Lanka
Sat, 23 May 2015 12:52:30 -0700

Six weeks after the committee of lawyers appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe handed over their fact-finding report on the controversial Treasury bond issue the findings were debated in parliament, and not unexpectedly, created a thunder of ...

Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake Tribune
Fri, 22 May 2015 14:08:56 -0700

Some 100 immigrants from 40 nations took the oath of allegiance Friday at Salt Lake City's federal courthouse, according to a news release from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They originally hailed from far-flung countries, ranging from ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Sat, 16 May 2015 14:26:28 -0700

MPs and Peers must take an oath of allegiance to the Crown before they can take their seats in Parliament and can be fined £500 if they fail to do so. But they can take a secular rather than religious oath, and are allowed to repeat the words in Welsh ...

BBC News

BBC News
Wed, 20 May 2015 04:08:26 -0700

Scotland's new SNP MPs have sworn allegiance to the Queen during the traditional oath taking ceremony at the House of Commons. There are 50 new nationalist members at Westminster, joining six SNP MPs who were re-elected from the 2010 intake.

Del Rio News Herald

Del Rio News Herald
Fri, 01 May 2015 09:52:30 -0700

The Oath of Allegiance. Chris Adams | Posted: Sunday, May 3, 2015 1:00 am. More than 100 individuals representing 26 countries take The Oath of Allegiance as part of the naturalization ceremony Friday at the Del Rio Civic Center.

BBC News

BBC News
Wed, 20 May 2015 02:34:42 -0700

As one of their founders George Fox said, when arrested and asked to swear the oath of allegiance: "Our allegiance [does] not lie in oaths but in truth and faithfulness." When handed a Bible to swear on, Fox opened it at the verse that read, "Swear not ...

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