A brief history of the Pledge of Allegiance
NOTE: This ranting was originally posted in some forum somewhere. It was designed for a very odd mix of pro/anti-religious people,
and has not been modified for this posting. That said, if it seems a little rambling at times, take it with a grain of salt.
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Huh. Well, that's definitely interesting. Looks like we're straying away from the point of the original post a little. At the risk of appearing "combative" or "sacrilegious," I think I'd better point
out some things. I tend to get nervous when people don't know all the facts, so I'm going to give you all a quick lesson in history here.
1. The revolution was fought from 1777 until 1783.
2. Our country was founded in 1784.
3. In April of 1861, less than 100 years after the country is founded, the Civil War began, and did not end until May of 1865. (Over 600,000 Americans died in this war, and another 50,000+ were the
recipients of amputations.)
4. In 1892, 30 or so years after the civil war ended, America celebrates its first Columbus Day. A socialist by the name of Francis Bellamy (not to be confused with, but a cousin of, the famous
radical writer Edward Bellamy) pens "The Pledge of Allegiance" for a popular magazine at the time, called "Youth's Companion."
"I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
5. In 1923, the Daughters of the American Revolution (and some other groups) create the "National Flag Conference," and start a grass roots campaign to change the words "my flag" to "the flag of the
United States." The next year, "of America" was added. The proclaimed rational was to keep immigrants from being confused by the pledge, and supporting the flag from the nation they left.
6. By the late 1920s, during an era filled with interesting people and places, many schools had taken to reciting this pledge as a morning ritual, a practice that continues to this day in some schools.
7. In 1954, Eisenhower signs a bill to add the words "under God" to the pledge of allegiance, and proclaims that "our schoolchildren will daily proclaim ... the dedication of our nation and our people
to the Almighty."
8. In 1955, under the watchful eye of then president General Eisenhower, congress adds the words "In God we trust" to the country's paper currency.
9. In 1956, congress replaces the nation's official national motto (E Pluribus Unum) with "In God we trust."
Some other interesting facts:
1. When the pledge was modified to include "under God," the nation was in the beginnings of a "cold war" with the Soviet Union, and other communist powers. Part of the rationale behind the
modification was to show that we were separate from the atheistic governments we were at war with. Fast forward 50+ years, and now we as a nation are again at war. A war against terrorism. Who are
these terrorists? Radical religious groups bent on the destruction of a non-religious state. They are striving to create "One nation, under God."
2. When Bellamy penned the pledge above, take a close look at the part surrounded by the commas. "one nation indivisible" was a direct reference to the Civil war.
3. The phrase "... endowed by their Creator ..." was intentionally ambiguous.
Anyway, that's just a snapshot of the appropriate history. I don't want to derail the train of the original post, but I do want everyone to know the facts before they start posting whatever drivel
they've been fed about the issue.
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