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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, Australia 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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13659 news items

WTAE Pittsburgh

WTAE Pittsburgh
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:09:27 -0800

Suisham, who was born in Canada, took the Oath of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at the USCIS Pittsburgh Field Office. "While I may never understand the word yinz or what a yinzer is, I have certainly come to love the city of Pittsburgh," ...

Yahoo7 News

Yahoo7 News
Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:19:30 -0800

Video Lambie calls on Australia to recite Oath of Allegiance, then reads the wrong pledge. Resplendent in her sequined Australian flag top, Australian flag headband and an interesting red, white and blue head dress, Senator Jacqui Lambie has taken to ...

Hudson Valley News Network

Hudson Valley News Network
Wed, 20 Jan 2016 11:30:00 -0800

Goshen – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus announced that County Clerk Annie Rabbitt will administer the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the County's Emergency Services Auditorium on 22 Wells Farm ...


Thu, 11 Feb 2016 13:45:00 -0800

Applicants complete the process by reciting an oath of allegiance before a federal judge. Conroy, who described presiding over naturalization ceremonies as one of the joys of sitting on the federal bench, congratulated the new Americans for completing ...
Tucson News Now
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 12:15:00 -0800

Naturalization candidates from 25 countries around the world, including China, Colombia, Lebanon, Mexico and Somalia, took the Oath of Allegiance to make it official. U.S. Senior District Judge Frank Zapata joined Pima County Superior Court Judge ...

United States Army (press release)

United States Army (press release)
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 05:17:39 -0800

Before she took the oath of allegiance, her son Logan and daughter Sydney replaced their mother's two-star shoulder boards with the three-star versions gifted by her predecessor to the applause of Family, friends and dignitaries. Milley then presented ...

Latin Post

Latin Post
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 03:01:29 -0800

JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 17: An immigrant takes part in a naturalization ceremony at Liberty State Park on September 17, 2015 in Jersey City, Pennsylvania. One hundred immigrants from 30 countries took the oath of allegiance to the United States at ...

WABE 90.1 FM

WABE 90.1 FM
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:30:03 -0800

In the rotunda of the Capitol, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration officials led 17 refugees, who've met their requirements to become citizens, to take their oath of allegiance to the country. Jassim Saba, 42, expressed excitement as he finished ...

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