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· MassCops Angel
121,617 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Story of the Pledge of Allegiance
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States, according to James A. Moss, an authority on the flag and its history, was first given national publicity through the official program of the National Public School Celebration of Columbus Day in October 1892. The Pledge had been published in theYouth's Companion for September 8,1892, and at the same time sent out in leaflet form throughout the country.During the Celebration it was repeated by more than 12,000,000 public school pupils in every state in the Union.
Mr. Francis Bellamy of Rome, New York, and Mr. James Upham of Malden, Massachusetts were both members of the staff of the Youth's Companion when the Pledge was published. The family of each man has contended that his was the authorship and both hold evidence to substantiate their claims.

To determine, in the interest of historical accuracy, the actual authorship, the United States Flag Association (formerly in Washington, D.C., but now disbanded), in 1939, appointed a committee consisting of Charles C. Tansill,Professor of American History; W. Reed West, Professor of Political Science; and Bernard Mayo, Professor of American History, to carefully weigh the evidence of the two contending families. Unanimously, the committee decided in favor of Francis Bellamy, and on May 18, 1939, the decision was accepted by the American Flag Committee. Mr. Bellamy had been chairman of the executive committee which formulated the program for the National Public School Celebration and furnished the publicity when he was on the staff of the Youth's Companion.

In the material which he nationally circulated, he wrote, "Let the flag float over every school-house in the land and the exercise be such as shall impress upon our youth the patriotic duty of citizenship." He also included the original 23 words of the Pledge which he had developed. * 'to' added in October, 1892.

I pledge allegiance to my Flag,
and (to*) the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

Thus it was that on Columbus Day in October 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance was repeated by more than 12 million public school children in every state in the union.

The wording of the Pledge has been modified three times.

On June 14, 1923, at the First National Flag Conference held in Washington, D.C., under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words. The latter words were added on the ground that some foreign-born children and adults when giving the Pledge might have in mind the flag of their native land.In 1923, the words "the flag of the United States" were substituted for "my flag."

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

In 1924, "of America" was added.

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.

On Flag Day June 14, 1954, the words "under God" were added

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:

"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."

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). In 1945 the Pledge to the Flag received its official title as: The Pledge of Allegiance

When the Pledge is being given, all should stand with the right hand over the heart, fingers together and horizontal with the arm at as near a right angle as possible. After the words "justice to all," the arm should drop to the side. While giving the Pledge of Allegiance all should face the flag.

According to Colonel Moss, no disrespect is displayed by giving the Pledge with a gloved hand over the heart, but he calls our attention to the fact that an Army Officer or an enlisted man always removes his right glove upon taking his oath as a witness. The Daughters of the American Revolution follow the custom of having the right hand ungloved.


The idea of the annual PAUSE FOR THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE originated in 1980 at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore, Maryland. The National Flag Day Foundation. Inc. was created in 1982 "to conduct educational programs throughout the United States in promotion of National Flag Day and to encourage national patriotism by promotion of the PAUSE FOR THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGiANCE."

On June 20, 1985, the Ninety-Ninth Congress passed and President Reagan signed Public Law 99-54 recognizing the PAUSE FOR THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE as part of National Flag Day activities. It is an invitation urging all Americans to participate on Flag Day, June 14, 7:00 p.m. (EDT) in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.


· Alien Member
17,556 Posts

US school pledge under fire again

By James Coomarasamy
BBC News, Washington
Wednesday, 14 September 2005, 22:48 GMT 23:48 UK

Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in US state schools is unconstitutional because of its
religious element, a federal judge has ruled in California.

The judge said it violated a child's constitutional right to be free of any coercive
requirement to affirm God.

Three unnamed parents represented by a well-known atheist brought the case.

The ruling in San Francisco mirrors a decision taken by the same court in 2002,
which was eventually overturned by the US Supreme Court.

Every day, millions of American schoolchildren pledge their allegiance to "one nation
under God".

But, for the second time in three years, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San
Francisco has ruled this unconstitutional.

Procedural grounds

Michael Newdow, who represents the three parents, gained nationwide notoriety in
2002 when he brought the original case on behalf of his then 10-year-old daughter.

The federal court's ruling on that occasion proved to be highly controversial and was
overturned by the US Supreme Court last year - but on procedural, not substantive,

There is a good chance that this latest ruling, by Judge Lawrence Karlton, will also
end up before America's highest court.

The court is increasingly being called to make judgements on the often contentious
relationship between church and state.

On 26 June 2002, a three-member panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit in San Francisco ruled that recitation of the current version of the Pledge of
Allegiance (which has since 1954 included the words "under God") in public schools
is unconstitutional because it "violates the religion clauses of the Constitution"
(i.e., the First Amendment protection that "Congress shall make no law respecting
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof").

The ruling was issued in response to a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in
Sacramento by Dr. Michael A. Newdow, a parent whose daughter attends elementary
school in the nearby Elk Grove Unified School District. Dr. Newdow had argued
that his daughter's First Amendment rights were infringed because she has been
forced to "watch and listen as her state-employed teacher in her state-run school
leads her classmates in a ritual proclaiming that there is a God, and that ours is
'one nation under God.'"

Although students cannot be required
to recite the pledge, the appeals court said a student who objects is confronted
with an "unacceptable choice between participating and protesting."

The decision was put on hold pending a review by the full court, and the general
expectation was that the ruling would be reconsidered at that time. However,
on 28 February 2003 the Ninth Circuit court declined to reconsider, and the
decision was again temporarily stayed to give the school district 90 days to
ask the Supreme Court to review the ruling.

The decision applies only to the nine Western states under the Ninth Circuit court's
jurisdiction: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon,
and Washington.

The ruling does not make the Pledge of Allegiance "unconstitutional" or "illegal" per se;
it holds that the current version of the Pledge of Allegiance (which includes the words
"under God") may not be recited in public schools as part of a teacher-led or
school-sanctioned activity. Technically, schools could still lead recitations of
the original version of the pledge (before the 1954 insertion of the words "under God"),
and students could still choose to recite either version on their own.

In June 2004 the Supreme Court reversed the lower-court decision ruling
that Newdow did not have the legal standing to bring the case.

A kid in Arizona wrote the attached ....
NEW School prayer.

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.
It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!

· Alien Member
17,556 Posts
The British National Anthem has the Queen in it

She does not rule.. she only wears silly hats and waves a lot lol
but yet our national anthem has never been challenged in court.
I dont think the Pledge of Allegience should have ever been
questioned by anyone. ( thats my opinion anyway )

On official occasions, only the first verse is usually sung, as follows

God save our gracious Queen!
Long live our noble Queen!
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen.

The second verse is only sung occasionally:

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And give us ever cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen.
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