Pledge of Allegiance

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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.
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 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.

Bibliography

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

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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
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Let's start with these words: "and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible." It's not just talking about any nation or form of government; it's talking about a republic -- a unified nation, under divine Providence, with three fully equal branches that are strong, independent and each entrusted with limited and defined powers within their constitutional boundaries.
By following the heroic example of those who fought to preserve our republic, we can find the inspiration our country needs to unify, to heal, and to remain one nation, under God. The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission and one shared sense of purpose.
Perhaps this year we can all try to put God back into our classrooms, halls of justice, in our military, in our daily lives and become, once again, one Nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all!
"We say in our pledge, 'one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,'" Patterson said.
President Pettis suggests that since Florida Bar members were elementary students, it has been ingrained in us to pledge allegiance to "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." In fact, I was completing my junior year at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, when the U.S.
Nobody got offended when it was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, with the closing line: "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Now school prayer is outlawed, religious symbols are banished, and some people go ballistic if God is even mentioned in a public school.
Some also did not believe we were "one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all."
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Rather than deciding whether the words "one nation, under God" recited in public schools breached the wall between church and state, the Court ruled 8 to 0 that the plaintiff had no standing to sue for his daughter.
Under it, men and women have sacrificed life and limb to secure "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." We marvel at its beauty in a breeze and it drapes the caskets of our fallen defenders.
(51.) "One Nation, Under God," Living Church, 4 July 1954, 7.
If the Earth Summiteers have their way, Johnny and Suzie will not be able to pledge allegiance to "one nation, under God," but they will be able to pledge to "One World, under Gaia" -- that is, Mother Earth.