Who Wrote The Pledge Of Allegiance?

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Videos by Rare

The United States pledge of allegiance was written by Francis Julius Bellamy, a Christian socialist preacher. The pledge, however, has undergone a few edits. It wasn’t always the pledge proud Americans recite today.

The original pledge of allegiance was written in 1892 to honor the country. It came about at a time when a youth-focused publication called Youth’s Companion started a campaign to sell American flags to public schools. Bellamy thought there should be a flag in every American public school. He, along with the Schoolhouse Flag, project birthed the pledge of allegiance. Because what pairs perfectly with a country’s flags and simultaneously boosts the morale of a country still ravaged by the Civil War? Naturally, an oath to said country. How better to tell a country that it’s whole than to simply tell them so? Thus, Francis Bellamy was asked to pen such a statement. Initially, the pledge was short and sweet, not intended to take longer than fifteen seconds to recite. It was as follows:

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

In Francis Bellamy’s words,

“The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the ‘republic for which it stands’. …And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation – the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible.”

Changes to the Pledge

A few of the renditions look like this. It slowly became more specific and religious, showing the nation’s specific endorsement of Christianity.

The Original 1892 pledge read:

“I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1923 it was changed to the following:

“I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

It changed again, the following year.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

Another rendition looked like this:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

The final form of the pledge came in 1954 and it what we know today.

American and the Nazi Salute

Along with the recitation was a salute known as the Bellamy salute. It was a simple gesture. Arms were held outstretched forward towards the flag, in a straight line, if you will. However, after the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party and World War II, it pretty much only resembled the Nazi salute. That was way too close for comfort. So, the salute was changed by Congress in 1942 in Section 7 of the Flag Code. The put in place the gesture we know today, placement of the right hand over the heart.

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