Pledge of Allegiance

(redirected from Pledge of allegiance to the flag)

Pledge of Allegiance,

in full, Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, oath that proclaims loyalty to the United States. and its national symbol. 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." According to the U.S. flag code, it should be recited while standing at attention with the right hand over the heart; military personnel must salute. The pledge first appeared, in a slightly different form, in a mass-circulation magazine for young people, The Youth's Companion, in the Sept. 8, 1892, issue. Authorship has been ascribed to Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), cousin of Edward BellamyBellamy, Edward
, 1850–98, American author, b. Chicopee Falls (now part of Chicopee), Mass. After being admitted to the bar he tried his hand at journalism and contributed short stories of genuine charm to various magazines.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and a socialist, former Baptist minister, and magazine staff member. A month later the pledge was first used publicly in school ceremonies celebrating Columbus Day.

In 1924 the oath's wording was changed slightly (the original "my flag" became "the flag of the United States of America"). Officially recognized by the government in 1942, the pledge became compulsory in some public schools, but the following year the Supreme Court ruled (in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette) that recitation could not be required of any individual. It continues, however, to be mandatory or recommended in a majority of the states and is a daily fixture in most American classrooms. The final alteration to the pledge occurred in 1954 when, by a joint order of Congress, the words "under God" were inserted. The change is usually ascribed to a cold-war attempt at differentiating the United States from officially atheistic Communist countries. The addition caused little stir when it was enacted, but in 2002 opposition to it resulted in a federal appeals court ruling that the words are unconstitutional because they violate the First Amendment's prohibition against government endorsement of religion. The Supreme Court subsequently overturned the verdict on procedural grounds.


See J. W. Baer, The Pledge of Allegiance: A Centennial History, 1892–1992 (1992).

Pledge of Allegiance

statement of loyalty to the U. S., inaugurated in 1892 upon 400th anniversary of the discovery of America. [Am. Hist.: WB, P: 508]
See: America
References in periodicals archive ?
I went to school, and we started the school day with the pledge of allegiance to the flag," he recalled.
Loyalty to our clients, firms and/or employers is not much different than the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States.
A brief announcement broadcast over the loudspeaker stated that pledge of allegiance would no longer include the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
Mr Obama has been attacked for not wearing an American flag lapel pin and for allegedly failing to place his hand over his heart during the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
It would strip federal courts of jurisdiction to rule on the constitutionality of the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
My first memory of coming to America was being spanked in kindergarten because I couldn't recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
The event began with a reception and was followed by a luncheon that included Scouts and lunch attendees saying the Boy Scout oath and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
In the 31-word Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, the two words "under God" provide all of us a chance to reflect on democracy and the fullness of what it means.
by our pledge of allegiance to the flag and to the Republic for which it stands?
The pledge of allegiance to the flag, first devised in the 1890s, was another Americanizing ritual.
Unlike America, there is no special swearing-in ceremony here, no pledge of allegiance to the flag, no promise to uphold the constitution.