The Pledge of Allegiance

Pledge of Allegiance, by Red Skeleton

Pledge of Allegiance, by John Wayne


The Pledge of Allegiance 

"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 Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an oath of loyalty to the national flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Francis Bellamy in 1892. The Pledge has been modified four times since then, with the most recent change adding the words "under God" in 1954. Congressional sessions open with the swearing of the Pledge, as do government meetings at local levels, meetings held by the Knights of Columbus, Royal Rangers, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Freemasons, Toastmasters International and their concordant bodies, other organizations, and many sporting events.

According to theĀ United States Flag Code, the Pledge "should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute".


When you pledge allegiance to the flag, you promise loyalty and devotion to your nation.

I pledge allegiance...
You promise to be true

...to the flag...
to the emblem of your country

... of the United States of America...
a nation made up of fifty states and several territories, each with certain rights of its own

... and to the republic...
a country where the people elect representatives from among themselves to make laws for them

...for which it stands...
the flag represents the United States of America

... one nation under God,...
a country whose people are free to believe in God

... indivisible,...
the nation cannot be split into parts

... with liberty and justice...
with freedom and fairness

...for all. ...
for every person in the country - you and every other American.


It hasn't always been like that...

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth's Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.

1892 — 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."
1923 — The words, "the Flag of the United States " were added. At this time it read:
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
1924 — The words "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."
1954 — The Words "under God" were added. At this time it read:
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 we say 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."

Section 4 of the Flag Code states:

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: "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.", should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute."

Guidelines for Displaying the Flag

  1. The flag of the United States should be flown daily from sunrise to sunset in good weather from public buildings, schools, permanent staffs, and in or near polling places on election days. The flag may be displayed 24 hours a day on patriotic holidays or if properly illuminated.
  2. The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is bad, except when an all-weather flag is used.
  3. The flag should always be flown on national and state holidays and on those occasions proclaimed by the President. On Memorial Day, the flag should be half staffed until noon.
  4. The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously. It should never be dipped to any person nor should it ever be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress.
  5. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, nor should it ever be carried flat or horizontally.
  6. It should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, drapery, or decoration, nor for carrying or holding anything.
  7. The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged. It should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
  8. The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle. When a flag is displayed on a car, the flag's staff should be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
  9. The flag or its staff should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. Nor should any picture, drawing, insignia or other decoration be placed on or attached to the flag, its staff, or halyard.
  10. The flag should not be embroidered on cushions, handkerchiefs, or other personal items nor printed on anything designed for temporary use and discarded. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, or members of other patriotic organizations.
  11. When the flag is so worn or soiled that it is no longer suitable for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning.

Flag Flying Holidays

  1. New Year's Day
  2. Lincoln's Birthday
  3. Washington's Birthday
  4. Armed Forces Day
  5. Memorial Day
  6. Flag Day
  7. Independence Day
  8. V-J Day
  9. Labor Day
  10. Thanksgiving
  11. Veterans' Day
  12. Pearl Harbor Day
  13. Christmas
  14. State Admission Day

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