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June 14 is Flag Day.
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America is our expression of loyalty to our federal flag and the republic of the United States of America.
It was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942.
The Pledge has been modified four times since its composition, with the most recent change adding the words “under God” in 1954.
The Pledge of Allegiance 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.
John Wayne and the Pledge of Allegiance
Congressional sessions, government meetings at local levels, meetings held by many private organizations and sports events open with the recital of the Pledge.
It is also recited in school at the beginning of every school day. The Supreme Court has ruled on several occasions that students cannot be forced to recite the Pledge, or be punished for not participating in the recital.
Representative Louis C. Rabaut of Michigan wanted to add the words “under God” to the Pledge in 1953.
That Ragged Old Flag
President Eisenhower acted on his suggestion on February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill to that effect. Congress passed the necessary legislation and Eisenhower signed the bill into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.
Eisenhower stated “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 or in war.”
The phrase “under God” was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance June 14, 1954.
Red Skelton dissects and explains the Pledge of Allegiance
According to the Flag Code, the Pledge “should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute” according to the Flag Code.