Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,300+ case briefs...

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette

United States Supreme Court
319 U.S. 624 (1943)



In 1942, the West Virginia State Board of Education (WVSBE) (defendant) adopted a resolution that ordered the salute to the American flag during activity programs in all public schools. All public school teachers and students were thus required to extend their right arms, palms upward, and recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag and the United States of America. The refusal to salute the flag was regarded an act of insubordination, and offending students were expelled and denied readmission until they complied with the statute. Meanwhile, expelled children were considered unlawfully absent and their parents or guardians could be prosecuted, fined, and imprisoned. Barnette and others (plaintiffs) filed suit on behalf of public school children and teachers in federal district court alleging that the compulsory salutation of the flag under the West Virginia statute violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Barnette specifically asked for an injunction to restrain enforcement of the law against Jehovah’s Witnesses, as their religion prohibited them from swearing allegiance to the flag. The district court agreed and enjoined enforcement of the statute. The West Virginia State Board of Education appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Jackson, J.)

Dissent (Frankfurter, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 486,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 486,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,300 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial