A Little Bit of History – The Pledge of Allegiance

Another repost, due to high demand. Who knew so many people loved history?

I saw this posted on Facebook today, with a blurb under it that said: “I want to challenge everyone to repost our country’s flag with the Pledge of Allegiance as it was written. – Maybe it’s time to return our country to its original founding fathers vision …

Obviously, they were inferring that we should leave the words “under God” out of the pledge and stating that this was the original Pledge of Allegiance. Unfortunately, they have their history wrong.

The Pledge of Allegiance was actually written in 1892 by a socialist – who was also a Baptist minister – Francis Bellamy. (I know … weird, right?) He originally penned it, hoping that people of all countries would use it as a pledge to their own flag. Here was the original version:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Yes, very different from our current version! Francis Bellamy was a firm believer of separation of church and state, so he did not include any references to God in the Pledge.

In 1923, the first revision of the Pledge came about, when the words “the Flag of the United States of America” were added, replacing  the “to my flag” portion of the Pledge. So, the graphic above is actually the second version of the Pledge of Allegiance, and not the original.

This version remained in effect until 1954 when “in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God”, leaving us with the Pledge of Allegiance that we all grew up on, and still remains today.

Now, a couple of fun facts about the original salute to the flag:

The original Bellamy salute, first described in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, who authored the original Pledge, began with a military salute, and after reciting the words “to the flag,” the arm was extended toward the flag.  — Shortly thereafter, the pledge was begun with the right hand over the heart, and after reciting “to the Flag,” the arm was extended toward the Flag, palm-down.

And who would have known that the Nazi’s would have anything to do with how we saluted our flag?

In World War II, the salute too much resembled the Nazi salute, so it was changed to keep the right hand over the heart throughout.  [source]

As I have aged, I have found that the history of our world fascinates me. There is so much that I never learned in school, and so much that has seemingly been “hidden” for whatever reason. I love learning new things about our history, and finding those amazing nuggets that I had never even heard about.

Did you know that …

  • Boston was flooded by two million gallons of molasses in 1919?
  • Albert Einstein was asked to be the President of Israel in 1952, but he declined because he said he lacked “both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official functions“?
  • Napoleon was once attacked by rabbits? :)

So much to learn, so little time.  I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of history!

6 thoughts on “A Little Bit of History – The Pledge of Allegiance”

  1. Mary says:

    I followed the link for the Napoleon story. I am so glad I did. It was quite humorous. Thanks for including it.

    1. Tori says:

      I thought so too, Mary!

  2. Wanda Tumlin says:

    The older I get, the more I find that I’m never too old to learn.

    1. Tori says:

      Isn’t it awesome?! I love learning new things.

  3. kim emper says:

    Thank you for sharing, I like learning new things.

    1. Tori says:

      You’re so welcome, Kim! I like learning new things, too.

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