Pledge of Allegiance

Official Versions Pledge of AllegianceHISTORICAL FACTS AND ETIQUETTE

“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 is an oath…a promise to be a loyal patriot to the United States of America. The pledge is generally said in the mornings in public schools and public functions.

Parochial schools often make it a part of their morning ritual also, reciting it along with their morning prayers. Military personnel also sometimes recite it during drills or when in formation. Veterans not in uniform may now also salute the flag.

The Pledge of Allegiance started as a marketing slogan to sell American flags to public schools. The man who wrote the pledge had ties with President Benjamin Harrison, who proclaimed that school children were to recite the pledge on Columbus day in 1892.

Since then, it has changed in wording and has become our official national pledge.

The Pledge of Allegiance is THE most recited ad campaigns in the US today. It started as a small pledge, written for a Christian, children’s magazine that was trying to sell American flags.

This was back in 1892, when they were celebrating the 400 year anniversary of the day Columbus arrived on American shores.

The magazine had contracted a Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy, to write it. He wrote: “I pledge allegiance to my flag, and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

President Benjamin Harrison is credited with making it a part of the public school morning ritual…less than a year after it was first written. He proclaimed that children were to recite it during their observance of Columbus day on October 12, 1892.

As stated, the original words of the Pledge of Allegiance weren’t quite the same as what Americans recite today. The pledge evolved in parts and pieces…starting in 1923, when the National Flag Conference (a conference that would discuss and recommend certain procedures for dealing with the US flag to legislatures) recommended several changes.

The first recommendation was to change the words ‘my flag’ to ‘the flag of the United States’. A year later, they added ‘of America’. It wasn’t adopted as the national pledge by congress until December 28, 1945.

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill to add the words “under God” just after “one nation”. Eisenhower had recommended the change to congress after hearing a sermon in a Presbyterian church.

Rev. Dr. George Docherty is the one who had delivered the sermon, and was even quoted when congressman Charles Oakman spoke to the house, urging them to pass the bill. He even ended his speech with, “Mr. Speaker, I think Mr. Docherty hit the nail square on the head.”


Proper etiquette requires all persons to stand at attention and face the flag while reciting the pledge. Military personnel in uniform are to salute. Previously, only military personnel in uniform were allowed to salute but now veterans not in uniform may salute the flag as well. When in uniform, firefighters and law enforcement officers may give a military salute as well. While all other citizens are to place their right hand on their heart. Men should remove their hats during the pledge. Women may leave on all hats other then sports caps.


  • Francis Bellamy, an editor at “The Youth’s Companion,” is acknowledged as the author.
  • The pledge is written to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.
  • The pledge was published for the first time on September 18, 1892 – in the juvenile magazine, “The Youth’s Companion.”
  • The pledge was originally written – “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
  • The words “the flag of the United States of America” were put in place of “my Flag” in 1924.
  • In 1942 the pledge is officially recognized by the U.S. government.
  • During the Cold War, many members of Congress reportedly wanted to emphasize the distinctions between the United States and the officially atheistic Soviet Union. Due to this desire, the pledge was altered once again in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, when he officially asked Congress to add “under God” to the pledge. Congress approved the addition of the phrase.

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