Saturday, February 27, 2010


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 was formed largely from the vision of three men: Daniel Ford, James Upham, and Francis Bellamy.

Daniel Ford was the publisher of a popular family magazine, The Youth's Companion. Ford's belief in Christ was a great influence on the content of his magazine, and he guided his life and business by Christian principles. With a circulation of nearly half a million, The Youth's Companion was the nation's most read weekly magazine in the late 1800s and early 1890s.

James Upham, head of the magazine's premium department, was disappointed that most public schools did not have their own flags, so he launched a campaign wherein schoolchildren raised funds to purchase a flag from the magazine. As a result, about 30,000 flags were sold and flown for the first time in front of America's schools between 1888 and 1891.

In 1892, the country prepared to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus's arrival in America. Pres. Benjamin Harrison declared Columbus Day, October 12, a national holiday for the first time. Upham wanted children across the country to participate, so he began planning the National Public School Celebration that would center on raising a school flag.

First, a proclamation from the president would be read, followed by prayer and Scripture reading, the singing of "America," and patriotic speeches. Wanting the children to participate more fully, Upham determined that they should recite a salute to the flag. He enlisted the talents of another magazine employee, Francis Bellamy, who had been pastor at the Boston church Daniel Ford attended. Bellamy labored for weeks and finally brought his composition to Upham: I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. It was published in The Youth's Companion on September 8, 1892. Thirty four days later, 12 million schoolchildren across the country recited the pledge of allegiance for the first time.

In 1923 and 1924 the words my flag were changed to the flag of the United States of America. In 1948, a man named Louis A. Bowman proposed to his fellow Sons of the American Revolution that the words under God be added after one nation... following a precedent set by Abraham Lincoln, who had extemporaneously added those same words to the end of his Gettysburg Address. Then, in 1952, William Randolph Hearst caught wind of the idea and began a campaign in his newspapers that helped bring about legislation to officially add under God to the pledge. President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved this change on Flag Day, 1954, and proclaimed, "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."

This information is from the book UNDER GOD by Toby Mac and Michael Tait. It is full of wonderful information about our country.

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