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U.S. Politics

Pledge of Allegiance

History of the Pledge of Allegiance

Since 1892, which marks the 400th anniversary of the discovery America's by Columbus, the Pledge of Allegiance is recited in public schools all over the nation.

The text was published in 1892 by an editor of the name Francis Bellamy, who wrote for Boston's 'The Youth's Companion' magazine. 

The original text changed only two times over the years: in 1923 participants of the National Flag Conference in Washington D.C. decided to substitute "my flag" by "the Flag of the United States of America". In 1954 president Eisenhower ordered to add the words "under God". 

Although Congress recognized the Pledge officially in 1942, the Supreme Court raised up an objection and ruled in 1943 that the morning recitation in schools is contradictory to the first amendment of the Bill of Rights: the freedom of speech.


Today the Pledge of Allegiance is recited during formal protocols, social related events and also e.g. at  sport events. Formal protocols means not only events on the federal government level but also smallest meetings on community level.

During the conduction of the ceremony it is differentiated between civilians and military personal: the latter ones, when in uniform, do not recite the text, they are standing at attention, facing the flag rendering the military salute. Military personal not in uniform may recite the text, too, as civilians do.

The Pledge

The ceremony is stipulated in the United States Code, Title 4, Ch. 1, Section 4 (The Flag):

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, 

"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."

should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.



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