We say the Pledge of Allegiance a lot. My 4 year old even knows it. However, how many of us really know the background and history behind the Pledge?
First, the Pledge Of Allegiance was written Francis Bellamy. He was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and a extreme nationalist. In 1892, he landed a job at the Youth's Companion. This magazine also sold American flags. Their sales were low, so they came up with the best marketing gimmick yet.
He worked out a deal with the National Education Association to celebrate the 400th annual anniversary of Christopher Columbus landing here. All the schools in the country were to have flag ceremonies which meant they all needed flags. Bellamy then wrote the saying that all the kids would have to say:
I pedge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Hmmm, that doesn't sound right, does it? That isn't how I learned it either. Where's the under god? Well, that change came in 1954. In response to the McCarthy era, the words “under god” were added to show that we were not Communists. Obviously, the patriotic atheists and agnostics weren't asked their opinion on that one. There is also a jab at the South with the line “one nation indivisible”. This was written shortly after the Civil War, and it was to make sure that that South knew that succession wasn't ever going to happen. At one point, “equality for all” was also to be included. However, the states' superintendents of education generally did not support equality for women or African Americans, so he did not include it for fear of rejection.
I was surprised to see that Pledge of Allegiance was just a marketing ploy, so a company could make a few extra bucks. All I can say is only in America.