As we celebrate Flag Day, I think it is important to understand the history of the Pledge of Allegiance.
This information was taken from a pamphlet prepared by the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.
In 1892, America was getting ready to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus in the new world.
On Oct. 21, every schoolhouse in the U.S.A. would hold a flag raising ceremony and the children would salute the flag. This was an attempt to reawaken a feeling of patriotism.
The plan to revive patriotism was launched by the editors office of the Youth’s Companion, a magazine read by almost every schoolchild. An employee of the magazine, Francis Bellamy, was appointed chairman of the celebration. He convinced President Harrison to proclaim Columbus Day as a national holiday. Mr. Bellamy then set about to write a salute for the flag. After many attempts, he developed the following:
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO MY FLAG (he felt pledge was a better “school word’’ than vow or swear).
AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS (he felt republic was the form of government chosen by the founding fathers).
ONE NATION INDIVISIBLE (the Civil War between the States had settled that the states could not be divided). WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL (the pledge seemed to assemble the past and promise the future). In 1924, the words — TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA — seemed logical as thousands of immigrants were coming to the U.S.A. They recited the Pledge as part of their naturalization process. In 1954, “one nation indivisible” became ONE NATION UNDER GOD. When reciting the Pledge, you should stand facing the flag and present the civilian salute — right hand over the heart keeping the arm at as near a right angle as possible. Be proud of our country and its flag.