West Virginia v. Barnett
This is just the first part of the decision. there is much more on line.
The Court based it's decision on the First Amendment.
"The right of West Virginia to utilize the flag salute as part of its
educational process is denied..." - U.S. Supreme Court, West Virginia
State Board of Education v. Barnette.
"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or
petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters
of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any
circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us." -
"The right of freedom of thought and of religion as guaranteed by the
Constitution against State action includes both the right to speak
freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all, except in so far
as essential operations of government may require it for the
preservation of an orderly society,-as in the case of compulsion to give
evidence in court. Without wishing to disparage the purposes and
intentions of those who hope to inculcate sentiments of loyalty and
patriotism by requiring a declaration of allegiance as a feature of
public education, or unduly belittle the benefits that may accrue
therefrom, I am impelled to conclude that such a requirement is not
essential to the maintenance of effective government and orderly
society. To many it is deeply distasteful to join in a public chorus of
affirmation of private belief... Official compulsion to affirm what is
contrary to one's religious beliefs is the antithesis of freedom of
worship which, it is well to recall, was achieved in this country only
after what Jefferson characterized as the 'severest contests in which I
have ever been engaged.'" - Ibidum.
"To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies
are voluntary and spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make
an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free
minds." - Ibidum.