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An oath of allegiance is an oath whereby a subject or citizen acknowledges a duty of allegiance and swears loyalty to
monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore the head of state of a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority a ...
or country. In republics, modern oaths are sworn to the country in general, or to the country's
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an ...
. For example, officials in the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...
, a republic, take an oath of office that includes swearing allegiance to the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first three articles embody the doctr ...

United States Constitution
. However, typically in a constitutional monarchy, such as in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, smal ...

Australia
and other Commonwealth realms, oaths are sworn to the
monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore the head of state of a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority a ...
. Armed forces typically require a military oath. 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 The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It con ...
contains an oath of obedience to the Lord Mayor of the City of London. Oaths of allegiance are commonly required of newly naturalized 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: 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 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."Martin McGuinness, McGuinness v. United Kingdom; Application No. 39511/98, decision June 8, 199
Reports and Judgements and Decisions 1999/V
, p. 483


See also

*1997 Constitution of Fiji: Chapter 17 *Bay'ah *Hitler oath (Germany between the years 1934 and 1945) *Loyalty oath *National Pledge (India) *Oath of Allegiance (Australia) *Oath of Allegiance (Canada) *Oath of Allegiance (Ireland) *Oath of Allegiance (New Zealand) *Oath of Allegiance (Philippines) *Oath of Allegiance (Sweden) *Oath of Allegiance (United Kingdom) *Oath of Allegiance (United States) * Oath of Citizenship *Oath of Office *Patriotic Oath (Philippines) *Pledge of Allegiance (Philippines) *Pledge of Allegiance (United States) *Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of South Korea *Rukun Negara *Singapore National Pledge *South African schools pledge


References

{{reflist Oaths of allegiance, State ritual and ceremonies