Lillian Gobitis and her brother William (plaintiffs), aged 10 and 12, respectively, attended school in the Minersville School District (Minersville) (defendant). Lillian and William were Jehovah’s Witnesses and refused to salute the American flag as part of the Pledge of Allegiance because such a gesture was against their religion. Minersville expelled the children. The children’s father (plaintiff) sued Minersville, alleging a violation of his and the children’s First Amendment rights. The district court ruled in favor of the Gobitises, and the court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.