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Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance explanation is an excerpt from our Flag Facts publications designed for classroom use and personal collections. If you are interested in purchasing copies please see the Flag Facts in our Shoppers Plaza.

The Pledge of Allegiance should be recited by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.

The Pledge was written to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's voyage. The celebration plans resulted in Columbus Day being designated a holiday for the whole country by President Benjamin Harrison.

The original Pledge was written in August of 1882. The 23 words read 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.

A change was made to the Pledge in 1923. The original verse was changed from "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the republic. . ." to "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America."

In 1923, along with the word change, it was also decided that everyone should say the pledge with their right hands on their hearts. Then in 1954 Congress added "under God" to the Pledge. It was pointed out that Abraham Lincoln had called the United States "this nation under God" in "The Gettysburg Address."

In 1943 the Supreme Court of the United States decided that "No one - child or adult -- could be forced to say 'The Pledge of Allegiance. To force someone to say it was in opposition to "freedom and justice for all."