Military Times NOW hosts the HomeOfHeroes  Awards & Citations Database

 

Stories of American Heroes - Brought to you from the "Home of Heroes" - Pueblo, Colorado

The
Pledge of Allegiance

pledge_large.jpg (166575 bytes)

     On September 8, 1892 a Boston-based youth magazine "The Youth's Companion" published a 22-word recitation for school children to use during planned activities the following month to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America.   Under the title "The Pledge to the Flag", the composition was the earliest version of what we now know as the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.


Click on the Scroll to access a larger copy of this image containing the text of the Pledge of Allegiance for printing as a poster.  (Set your printer margins to the minimum default to print it as a single, letter-sized page.)

The October 12, 1892 Columbus Day celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the discovery of America was planned for years in advance, and anticipated much as modern Americans look forward to and plan for the advent of a new century.  The United States had recovered from most of the effects of its Civil War that began 30 years earlier, and people from around the world were flocking to the "Land of Opportunity".  The previous year almost a half million immigrants had entered the United States through the Barge Office in Battery Park, New York and on New Years day of 1892 the new Federal Bureau of Receiving's station at Ellis Island had opened.

Two men interested in both education and planned Columbus Day celebrations around our Nation's 44 states were Francis Bellamy and James Upham.  To this day it is still unknown which of the two men actually authored the words that were to become the Pledge of Allegiance.   It was published anonymously and not copyrighted.   James Upham was an employee of the Boston publishing firm that produced "The Youth's Companion" in which it first appeared.  Francis Bellamy was an educator who served as chairman of the National committee of educators and civic leaders who were planning the Columbus Day activities.  What we do know for certain is that the words first appeared in the September 8, 1892 issue of "The Youth's Companion", and a month later more than 12 million school children   recited the words for the first time in schools across the nation.  Our Pledge of Allegiance was born, but like anything new, it took many years to "reach maturity", and underwent several changes along the way.  That first Pledge of Allegiance read:

     I pledge allegiance to my Flag,
and to the Republic for which it stands:

     one Nation indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

October 11, 1892

After the Columbus Day celebration the Pledge to the Flag became a popular daily routine in America's public schools, but gained little attention elsewhere for almost 25 years.  Finally, on Flag Day - June 14, 1923, the Pledge received major attention from adults who had gathered for the first National Flag Conference in Washington, D.C.  Here their Conference agenda took note of the wording in the Pledge.  There was concern that, with the number of immigrants now living in the United States, there might be some confusion when the words "My Flag" were recited.  To correct this the pledge was altered to read:

     I pledge allegiance to my the
Flag of the United States,
and to the Republic for which it stands:

     one Nation indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

June 14, 1923

The following year the wording was changed again to read:

     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.

June 14, 1924

The Pledge of Allegiance continued to be recited daily by children in schools across America, and gained heightened popularity among adults during the patriotic fervor created by World War II.  It still was an "unofficial" pledge until June 22, 1942 when the United States Congress included the Pledge to the Flag in the United States Flag Code (Title 36).   This was the first Official sanction given to the words that had been recited each day by children for almost fifty years.  One year after receiving this official sanction, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite the Pledge as part of their daily routine.  In 1945 the Pledge to the Flag received its official title as:

The Pledge of Allegiance

The last change in the Pledge of Allegiance occurred on June 14 (Flag Day), 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved adding the words "under God".   As he authorized this change he 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."

This was the last change made to the Pledge of Allegiance.  The 23 words what had been initially penned for a Columbus Day celebration now comprised a Thirty-one profession of loyalty and devotion to not only a flag, but to a way of life....the American ideal.  Those words now read:

flag2.gif (8316 bytes)

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.

June 14, 1954

 

In 1892, 1923, 1924 and 1954 the American people demonstrated enough concern about the actual words in the Pledge to make some necessary changes.  Today there may be a tendency among many Americans to recite "by rote" with little thought for the words themselves.  Before continuing with our tour, let's examine these 31 words a little more thoroughly.

I Pledge Allegiance I Promise to be faithful and true (Promise my loyalty)
to the flag to the emblem that stands for and represents
of the United States all 50 states, each of them individual, and individually represented on the flag
of America yet formed into a UNION of one Nation.
and to the Republic And I also pledge my loyalty to the Government that is itself a Republic, a form of government where the PEOPLE are sovereign,
for which it stands, this government also being represented by the Flag to which I promise loyalty.
one Nation under God, These 50 individual states are united as a single Republic under the Divine providence of God, "our most powerful resource" (according to the words of President Eisenhower)
Indivisible, and can not be separated.   (This part of the original version of the pledge was written just 30 years after the beginning of the Civil War and demonstrates the unity sought in the years after that divisive period in our history)
with Liberty The people of this Nation being afforded the freedom to pursue "life, liberty, and happiness",
and Justice And each person entitled to be treated justly, fairly, and according to proper law and principle,
for All. And these principles afforded to EVERY AMERICAN, regardless of race, religion, color, creed, or any other criteria.   Just as the flag represents 50 individual states that can not be divided or separated, this Nation represents millions of people who can not be separated or divided.
Thus it is that when you Pledge Allegiance to the United States Flag, You:

*Promise your loyalty to the Flag itself.
*Promise your loyalty to your own and the other 49 States.
*Promise your loyalty to the Government that unites us all,
     Recognizing that we are ONE Nation under God,
     That we can not or should not be divided or alone,
     And understanding the right to Liberty and Justice belongs to ALL of us.

 

 

bn_nav_next.gif (1766 bytes)  The American's Creed

[Flag Day][About the US Code][The Flag Code][Time & Occasions for Flag Display]  
[Position and manner of Flag Display-Outdoors] [Position and manner of Flag Display-Indoors]
[Flying the Flag at Half-Staff][Burial Flags][Showing Respect for the Flag][Flag Ceremonies
[How to Fold the Flag][Obtaining  A Flag Flown over the Capitol][State Flags][Military Flags
[War Mother's Flag][MIA/POW Flag][Other Flags][Flag Specifics][Patriotic Holidays & Observancess ]
.

History of the United States Flag

Our National Anthem

The Pledge of Allegiance

The American Creed

The Great Seal

Our National Symbol

Our National Flower

 

Other First Floor Exhibits and Displays

bn_nav_birth.gif (6275 bytes)

Birth of a Nation
Exhibit

Click Below to Visit A
Different Exhibit

bn_nav_hero.gif (3152 bytes)
Military Medals

bn_nav_wall.gif (2809 bytes)
The Wall of Honor

bn_nav_defense.gif (3217 bytes)
Defending Freedom

bn_nav_doccs.gif (6074 bytes) Our Founding
Documents
bn_nav_wash.gif (3402 bytes) The New Nation
Finds a Home
bn_nav_flag.jpg The Flag, 
Symbol of Freedom

Take the Elevator to a Different Floor

bn_el_0.gif (1708 bytes).bn_el_1.gif (1649 bytes).bn_el_2.gif (1708 bytes).bn_el_3.gif (1714 bytes)

Home Page

Hall Of Heroes

MOH Community 

NEWS

Kidz Page

FEATURE STORIES
  Profiles In Courage | Wings of ValorThe Brotherhood of Soldiers At War | Go For Broke
 Pearl Harbor  | A Splendid Little War | Shinmiyangyo-Korea 1871 | Quick Links to MOH Stories

RECIPIENT WEB SITES
Barney Barnum  |  Jack Lucas  |  Mitch Paige  |  Wesley Fox  |  Sammy Davis
Roger Donlon
Peter Lemon  |  Drew Dix  |  Mike Novosel

Medal Of Honor Calendar  |  Books By MOH RecipientsSteve Ryan MOH Posters

What Does 
A Hero Look Like?

Click on Superman To Find out


FOOTNOTES
In
HISTORY

NEW
Looking for a Hero or trying to verify awards? We have posted the names of more than 120,000 recipients of the highest awards in a BRAND NEW FREE SECTION
DECORATIONS 1862 - Present
.

Military Medals & Awards 

Information and Images of ALL Military Medals
The Purple Heart 
How to Request Records/Medals Earned
  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

Honor Roll of America's Military Heroes


Brevet Medal


DSC 


Navy Cross 


Air Force Cross 

Distinguished Service Medals

Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine



Silver Star

U.S. History and Information
The History Room | U.S. Flag HistoryHistory of the Flag |
How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
Arthur MacArthur's Flag | William Carney's Flag | FDR's Flag of Liberation]

FLAG DAY           STATE FLAGS
American Presidents
U.S. Presidents | Inaugural Addresses

God & Country
ROOM

MY HERO Web Page Creator 
(Create a Tribute to the Hero in Your Own Life)

SEARCH
bn_search.jpg (3967 bytes)
OUR SITE

EDUCATIONAL

GAME ARCADE

OR
Quick Quiz

***
Electronic Post Cards
Talking Points 

Remembering 911
The Binch
Citizens Speak Out

BEYOND THE MEDAL

This 5 Disc DVD Education Program has been distributed to over 17,500 Public & Private High Schools and is now available to the public!


 

HomeOfHeroes.com now has more than 25,000 pages of US History for you to view.

Copyright 1999-2014 by HomeOfHeroes.com
     2115 West 13th Street - Pueblo, CO 81003

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Unless otherwise noted, all materials by C. Douglas Sterner

Home Page

Hall Of Heroes

MOH Community 

NEWS

Kidz Page

FEATURE STORIES
  Profiles In Courage | Wings of ValorThe Brotherhood of Soldiers At War | Go For Broke
 Pearl Harbor  | A Splendid Little War | Shinmiyangyo-Korea 1871 | Quick Links to MOH Stories

RECIPIENT WEB SITES
Barney Barnum  |  Jack Lucas  |  Mitch Paige  |  Wesley Fox  |  Sammy Davis
Roger Donlon
Peter Lemon  |  Drew Dix  |  Mike Novosel

Medal Of Honor Calendar  |  Books By MOH RecipientsSteve Ryan MOH Posters

What Does 
A Hero Look Like?

Click on Superman To Find out


FOOTNOTES
In
HISTORY

NEW
Looking for a Hero or trying to verify awards? We have posted the names of more than 120,000 recipients of the highest awards in a BRAND NEW FREE SECTION
DECORATIONS 1862 - Present
.

Military Medals & Awards 

Information and Images of ALL Military Medals
The Purple Heart 
How to Request Records/Medals Earned
  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

Honor Roll of America's Military Heroes


Brevet Medal


DSC 


Navy Cross 


Air Force Cross 

Distinguished Service Medals

Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine



Silver Star

U.S. History and Information
The History Room | U.S. Flag HistoryHistory of the Flag |
How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
Arthur MacArthur's Flag | William Carney's Flag | FDR's Flag of Liberation]

FLAG DAY           STATE FLAGS
American Presidents
U.S. Presidents | Inaugural Addresses

God & Country
ROOM

MY HERO Web Page Creator 
(Create a Tribute to the Hero in Your Own Life)

SEARCH
bn_search.jpg (3967 bytes)
OUR SITE

EDUCATIONAL

GAME ARCADE

OR
Quick Quiz

***
Electronic Post Cards
Talking Points 

Remembering 911
The Binch
Citizens Speak Out

BEYOND THE MEDAL

This 5 Disc DVD Education Program has been distributed to over 17,500 Public & Private High Schools and is now available to the public!


 

HomeOfHeroes.com now has more than 25,000 pages of US History for you to view.