I Pledge Allegiance

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The Pledge of Allegiance

I Pledge Allegiance

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.

In its original form it read:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1923, the words, “the Flag of the United States of America” were added. At this time it read:

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge we say today. Bellamy’s daughter objected to this alteration. Today it reads:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Section 4 of the Flag Code states:

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”, should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.”

The original Bellamy salute, first described in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, who authored the original Pledge, began with a military salute, and after reciting the words “to the flag,” the arm was extended toward the flag.

At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the flag the military salute — right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” At the words, “to my Flag,” the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, toward the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side. The Youth’s Companion, 1892

Shortly thereafter, the pledge was begun with the right hand over the heart, and after reciting “to the Flag,” the arm was extended toward the Flag, palm-down.

In World War II, the salute too much resembled the Nazi salute, so it was changed to keep the right hand over the heart throughout.

The information above is Quoted VERBATIM from the Index of Historic Documents at USHISTORY.ORG

I = the nominative singular pronoun, used by a speaker in referring to himself or herself.

Pledge = a solemn promise or undertaking.

Allegiance = loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause.

Flag = a piece of cloth or similar material, typically oblong or square, attachable by one edge to a pole or rope and used as the symbol or emblem of a country or institution or as a decoration during public festivities.

United States of America = (Placename) (functioning as singular or plural) a federal republic mainly in North America consisting of 50 states and the District of Columbia: colonized principally by the English and French in the 17th century, the native Indians being gradually defeated and displaced; 13 colonies under British rule made the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and became the United States after the War of American Independence. The northern states defeated the South in the Civil War (1861-65). It is the world’s most productive industrial nation and also exports agricultural products. It consists generally of the Rocky Mountains in the west, the Great Plains in the center, the Appalachians in the east, deserts in the southwest, and coastal lowlands and swamps in the southeast. Language: predominantly English; Spanish is also widely spoken. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: dollar. Capital: Washington, DC. Pop: 297 043 000 (2004 est). Area: 9 518 323 sq km (3 675 031 sq miles). Often shortened to: United States, US (Abbreviation) or USA (Abbreviation) Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Republic = a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

Stands = represents or symbolizes

One = existing, acting, or considered as a single unit, entity, or individual.

Nation = A relatively large group of people organized under a single, usually independent government; a country.

Under = in a subordinate position or condition.

God =  (in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.

Indivisible = unable to be divided or separated.

Liberty = the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views or freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.

Justice = the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals; The quality of being just; fairness: In the interest of justice, we should treat everyone the same.

All = the whole number; every one.

How times change…

Yet I sing, How Great is Our God…Sing with me.
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34 thoughts on “I Pledge Allegiance

  1. I love the history and the breakdown! I found you through Jann Cobb’s linkup. I would love to learn more about your blog and link-up with you in the future. Would you be interested in sharing notifications of your linkups in our Facebook group? It is called Christian Bloggers and Business Networking. Hope to see you there!

  2. Hi Susan! Thank you for stopping by my party and sharing your post about the Boston Marathon Bombing…gave me chills reading it.
    I’ve also added your blog party to my list 🙂

  3. This is such a meaningful post. Thank you for sharing the history behind the pledge. Yes, times are changing. And yet I sing with you about the greatness of our God, trusting that this very well may be His finest hour. Thank you for linking with us at Grace & Truth!

  4. An interesting post, thank you for such detailed information. I remember how proud we were as kids to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at Mountain View Elementary School in the 1960s. No one thought to be offended by having to say “one nation under God.” Times have changed and God is still in control whether we acknowledge it or not. My arms are raised as I sing with you, “How Great is our God!”

  5. Hi, Susan and thanks for letting me know about your link up on Fridays! This is a beautiful history of the Pledge of Allegiance, thank you for sharing! Blessings 🙂

  6. Loved how you itemized each word to expand the meaning behind the pledge. We immigrated to the USA as adults, so haven’t had the experience of saying the pledge in school. Thank you for sharing – it’s fascinating.

  7. I didn’t realise “one nation under God” was added so late (comparatively). I wonder what non-Christian Americans think about the pledge nowadays? I also found out recently that Australian Parliament still opens with the Lord’s Prayer, which is cool but there’s a bit of talk about its redundancy and getting rid of it now (they tried to scrap it last year but it failed).

    1. Mary, a post from Charisma Magazine I read this morning made a similar point. Repentance needs to come before revival. And repentance starts with us: the church, God’s people.

  8. Susan, I learned so much from your post today. I didn’t know all of this about the Pledge of Alligiance. So interesting. Visiting from FMG where I’m #16 this week.

  9. Very interesting post, Susan! Thank you for sharing! Happy 4th to you! Peace and many blessings, sweet friend! 🙂

  10. Thank you for sharing the history behind the pledge! Even though I’m aware that “God” was added later, I do hope He doesn’t get taken out of our pledge!

  11. I loved this history lesson Susan. Thanks for reminding us of our foundation and giving us another back story of this great nation. Blessings friend!

  12. Thank you Susan. Words so simple, but when we are reminded of true history, our sense of patriotism becomes even stronger. Much of this history is taught during boot camp (sadly the first place I heard it), except the part for when “under God” was added. This is good to know–and a strong point. I thought it was part of the original. It really changes everything to know that our nation added it not very long ago.

  13. I love how you shared the history of the Pledge of Allegiance with us. I was honored as a teacher for 30 years to stand every morning with mu students and say the Pledge. I also was interested to hear that in 2003, the majority religion was Christianity. I just heard from Beth Moore last weekend that the number has dwindled significantly but the strength and commitment of Christians has increased. Happy 4th to you, Susan!

  14. How times change indeed. sigh.
    That was very interesting, thanks for sharing.

    ~ “…All will see, how great is our God” ~ Singing with you.
    One day the author of true liberty will make all things right.


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  16. What a great history of the Pledge. I live in TX now and am thrilled the kids here recite it before school begins! Thanks for sharing your research!

  17. An interesting post, Susan, and a good day to revisit history. I didn’t know much of this about the pledge, so thank you for the Friday education. 🙂 Happy 4th, my friend. Excited to meet you in person in just three weeks.

  18. Wow, interesting history on the pledge! We still recite the pledge at the junior high school where I teach, and I am so glad! Thank you for sharing this, Susan. It is so important that we are informed about our country’s Christian roots. Blessings!

  19. Susan,
    Oh how I miss the pledge…what a fitting way we started each day in school…and there was no questioning “under God”. Thank you for this history on the pledge that sadly has gone the way of any other notion of our country being under the sovereignty of a loving God.

  20. This is amazing!
    I’m getting my heart in gear for our Summer Day Camp ministry, and, of course, we start every day with the pledge to the American and Christian flags and to the Bible. What a boost this post has been!

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