The pledge of allegiance was written by the socialist minister and magazine editor Francis Bellamy in 1892 for a nationwide public school celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s landing. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country. Bellamy was a well-known “Christian Socialist” whose beliefs involved some pretty unsavory bents. I will leave you with one of his most often quoted statements as an example.
“(a)democracy like ours cannot afford to throw itself open to the world where every man is a lawmaker, every dull-witted or fanatical immigrant admitted to our citizenship is a bane to the commonwealth; where all classes of society merge insensibly into one another.”
The Pledge in its original form it read:
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, New York became the first state to mandate that public school students recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each school day. Many states followed suit, and the pledge remained a staple of the daily routine in most schools. The pledge recital itself was accompanied by a salute which Bellamy and one of his colleagues invented. It consisted of a hand over heart motion ending with the extension of the arm pointing to the flag. Look close at the image here. Does the ending of the salute look familiar? Yup, that’s right folks that is the same salute the Nazi’s adopted in their own socialist escapades.
In 1923, the words, “the Flag of the United States of America” were added.
At this time it read:
“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.”
In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge as it is usually spoken today. Bellamy’s daughter objected to this alteration.
Today it reads:
“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 next time you state the pledge try to remember the facts. What we view as a very patriotic and religious salute was and really still is anything but a good thing. Allegiance to any symbol or person or belief without intelligent thought and discussion behind it is worthless and dangerous.