Growing up in the 60s and 70s, I remember reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of every day while attending elementary school. One student would stand in the front of the class, next to the flag, and hold it out to display the Stars and Stripes, while the rest of us put our right hands over our hearts and recited the lines...

"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."

It always seemed so much longer as a child. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized it really was only one sentence long...but what a message in that sentence!

The words were originally penned by Colonel George Balch back in 1887. Five years later it was revised by Francis Bellamy. Congress formally adopted the pledge in 1942 and it was officially named "The Pledge of Allegiance in 1945.

The Pledge of Allegiance has gone through a few changes over the years. Here are the different versions:

  • 1892: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
  • 1892 to 1923: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
  • 1923 to 1954: “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.”
  • 1954 to present: “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 last revision, adding "under God" happened on June 14th, 1954.

Have you ever really stopped to think about what each of those words in that sentence mean? We've all said the Pledge of Allegiance numerous times, but do we really know what it stands for.

Many years ago, comedian Red Skelton told the story of his history teacher who broke down the Pledge of Allegiance word by word -- and explained it's meaning. Here is that video...

Wow, such powerful words and meanings. I think this video should be required viewing for every citizen of the United States!

 

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