Why We 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

We all grew up reciting this every morning before school. And many of our children are still repeating these lines daily.

Why do we pledge allegiance? What does it mean?

So, let’s break it down.

Essentially, we are using the flag of our country to confirm our support of the United States of America. We are all agreeing to similar values (liberty and justice for all) for all people in America. We are saying that we agree that we are one country, no matter our personal political beliefs.

But it didn’t start out this way entirely.

Actually, the pledge of allegiance was first published and recited in 1892 for the Columbian Exposition and the announcement of the Columbus Day holiday by President Benjamin Harrison.

Reverend Francis Bellamy was working for Youth’s Companion magazine and was tasked with writing a new pledge for children to recite. His original pledge went like this:

en medios sociales

It’s quite a bit different from what we have today!

Here is what changed and when:

  • 1923: “my flag” –> “the flag of the United States”
  • 1924: “the flag of the United States” –> “the flag of the United States of America”
  • 1942: the pledge is adopted as part of the US flag code and made compulsory in schools
  • 1943: Supreme Court rules that it is not required that all schoolchildren to recite the pledge
  • 1954: Knights of Columbus, a Catholic civic organization, petition to add “under God” approved by Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower

Today, the pledge is still recited daily in many schools and public events around the country. However, it is not compulsory for anyone to participate, just very common.

Does your school recite the pledge daily? Do you or any of your students abstain?

~Meg

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3 thoughts on “Why We Pledge Allegiance

  1. It was the weirdest thing for me growing up as a kid on military bases…my mom was in a cult that didn’t allow us to recite the pledge yet my father served his country and the military put a roof over our heads and food on the table. I HATED IT (not being able to say the pledge). Finally, as a teenager I made up my mind. Personally, I abstain from the ‘under God’ part, but to each their own. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I grew up Quaker, and we don’t swear oaths. Since the pledge is an oath, it was left up to us whether to say it or not. I tried out both ways, but generally say it. I also gloss over the “under God” part since it was added so recently and doesn’t reflect my views completely.
      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!
      ~Meg

      Like

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