I was all gung-ho to talk about the display of the Ten Commandments in schools and in other public arenas. I planned on commenting on the rote recitation of the “Pledge of Allegiance” which includes “One Nation, Under God.” Instead, I stumbled upon some fascinating history.
The original pledge is not what we know: it didn’t include the United States or God.
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” – Francis Bellamy, 1892
Okay, not bad, and oddly was written by a minister who intended this pledge to be used by anyone, in any country. He sounds like quite the humanitarian.
The United States part was added in 1922, and God was added in 1954 with a bill ultimately passed under President Eisenhower on Flag Day.
The original appropriate action included a military salute followed by an extended arm to the flag, which became too Nazi-like after World War II and was abandoned. Now everyone is expected to hold their right hand over their heart, which anyone in the medical profession can tell you is not on the left side of your chest.
No matter, it’s all history, and quite interesting at that.
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