I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag

Elizabeth Stover, Columnist

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Every day, students and teachers recite the Pledge of Allegiance before school, in meetings, and after school events, even though a large majority who pledge don’t even know what it means. Students learn the Pledge as early as preschool, but never truly learn what it means, which detracts from the purpose in saying it.

According to Study, the Pledge of Allegiance was first written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy. The original Pledge was written as, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” It was created as a way to bridge the gap between the North and South after the Civil War.

The Pledge of Allegiance has evolved over time. According to the American Flag Foundation, the first modification was made within the first 30 years, adding the word “to,” making it “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” In the following 30 years, “the” and “of the United States of America” was added to the Pledge. In 1954, “under God” was added, both as a way to express our religious faith in America and to show defiance towards the Soviet Union, and has left us with the Pledge of Allegiance that we have today. It now states, “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 Longman Dictionary defines the Pledge of Allegiance as “a speech that US citizens learn, which is a promise to respect the US and be loyal to it.” Whenever the Pledge is recited, each person should face the flag, remove their hats, and place their right hand over their heart. As you recite this each day, remember what it means to do so, and remember the respect and loyalty you are promising to your country.

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