The Pledge of Allegiance


The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance (1892) was an expression of allegiance to the flag, part of a campaign to promote nationalism in schools led by the children's magazine, The Youth's Companion to sell flags to schools and have children recite the pledge. Colonel George Balch, a Civil War veteran, wrote a similar pledge five years before Bellamy's:
"We give our heads and hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one flag!"
Both versions existed until 1923, when Bellamy's version became the de facto standard. His pledge was formally adopted by Congress in 1942, and in 1945 officially named: The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. The phrase "under God" was added to Bellamy's original version, after "one nation," signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on Flag Day, 1954.

The Pledge of Allegiance
Students swearing The Pledge of Allegiance on Flag Day, 1899

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

The Pledge of Allegiance was featured as The Short Story of the Day on Tue, Jun 22, 2021

Featured in our collection of American Patriotic Songs, which includes the United States national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. Visit American History in Literature for other significant works that helped shape the country.


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