The Pledge of 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…