The original Pledge of Allegiance
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which
it stands- one nation indivisible-with liberty and justice for all."
On September 8,1892, the Boston based "The Youth's Companion" magazine
published a few words for students to repeat on Columbus Day that year.
Written by Francis Bellamy,the circulation manager and native of Rome,
New York, and reprinted on thousands of leaflets, was sent out to
public schools across the country. On October 12, 1892, the
quadricentennial of Columbus' arrival, more than 12 million children
recited the Pledge of Allegiance, thus beginning a required school-day
At the first National Flag Conference in Washington D.C.,
on June14, 1923, a change was made. For clarity, the words "the Flag of the United
States" replaced "my flag". In the following years various other changes
were suggested but were never formally adopted.
It was not until 1942 that Congress officially recognized the Pledge
of Allegiance. One year later, in June 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that
school children could not be forced to recite it. In fact,today only half of
our fifty states have laws that encourage the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance
in the classroom!
In June of 1954 an amendment was made to add the words "under God". Then-President
Dwight D. Eisenhower said "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence
of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall
constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our
country's most powerful resource in peace and war."