June 14, 1954: The Pledge of Allegiance

As a child I remember saying “The Pledge of Allegiance” every day at school. (And that picture above is NOT me in grade school!)

The Pledge of Allegiance was originally written by a man named Colonel George Balch in 1887. It has had a few revisions along the way. It was revised by Francis Bellamy in 1892. In 1942 Congress formally adopted the pledge. The official name, “The Pledge of Allegiance”, was adopted back in 1945.

The last revision came back on June 14th (Flag Day), 1954. That revision added the words “under God” to our Pledge of Allegiance.

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.”

As a child, I don’t think many of us never really understood the words, or the meaning, of The Pledge of Allegiance. It was just something we memorized and recited back, in unison, every morning while looking at the American Flag with our right hands over our hearts.

Several years ago, while doing a mid-day talk show at WOOD Radio, a sketch by Red Skelton was brought to my attention. In this segment from his TV show, he told about a teacher he had in elementary school This teacher broke down The Pledge of Allegiance word by word…and explained their meaning. He also talked about the addition of the two words “under God”. It wasn’t until I heard this segment, that I think I truly understood what The Pledge of Allegiance really stood for.

Here is the video of Red Skelton and his explanation of The Pledge of Allegiance…

If only every citizen of our United States could see this video and fully understand the meaning of “The Pledge of Allegiance”.

Here is more on the history The Pledge of Allegiance from Wikipedia.org.

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