A company of men of arms under one standard [or flag].--Thomas Blount's Glossographia, 1656
Adaptation of Latin vexillatio; form of vexillum, standard.--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1928
On this date in 1923, a national conference convened in Washington, DC, to update the rules of etiquette by which the American flag should be treated. Among the rules adopted were some that are routinely disregarded today: "Do not use the flag as a portion of a costume or of an athletic uniform. Do not print it on paper napkins or boxes." Above all, "Do not use the flag in any form of advertising." When Old Glory passed by, as in a parade, "Women should salute by placing the right hand over the heart." Beyond these regulations, a curious arm gesture was added to the Pledge of Allegiance. "At the words 'to the flag,' the right hand is extended palm upward toward the flag, and this position is held until the end, when the hand, after the words 'justice for all,' drops to the side."
No doubt too many elementary school kids were getting carpal tunnel/RSI from holding their arms out like that every morning.