5 things you didn't know about the Pledge of Allegiance

Lakeway Elementary School Principal Sam Hicks (far right) leads the pledge of allegiance with second-grade teacher Nicolle Halprin and her class on the first day of school Aug. 24. Lake Travis school district officials reported that 9,048 students attended classes on opening day, and enrollment has now surpassed the 9,100-mark.

Credit: SUE KNOLLE FOR LAKE TRAVIS VIEW

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Lakeway Elementary School Principal Sam Hicks (far right) leads the pledge of allegiance with second-grade teacher Nicolle Halprin and her class on the first day of school Aug. 24. Lake Travis school district officials reported that 9,048 students attended classes on opening day, and enrollment has now surpassed the 9,100-mark.

Credit: SUE KNOLLE FOR LAKE TRAVIS VIEW

Credit: SUE KNOLLE FOR LAKE TRAVIS VIEW

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We said it every morning when we were in school, but many of us aren’t familiar with the history behind our country’s Pledge of Allegiance.

Monday marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the official name of one of the most famous sentences -- and it is just one sentence -- in our country's history, the Pledge of Allegiance.

Penned in 1892, the pledge has been amended twice – the last time with the addition of the words “under God.” That addition sparked a lawsuit, one of many that have been brought concerning the pledge.

Here are 5 things you may not have known about the Pledge.

  1. The pledge was written in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy. Bellamy was a socialist. It was intended to be a pledge anyone of any country could use.
  2. There was a pledge written five years before Bellamy wrote the one we use today. Col. George Blach's pledge, which  was used as often as Bellamy's until 1923, read: "We give our heads and hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one flag!"
  3. In 1923, the words, "the Flag of the United States of America" were added to Bellamy's original pledge.
  4. In 1954, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words "under God," to the pledge.
  5. The pledge consists of 31 words, and, according to the U.S.  Flag Code, "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."

The pledge Bellamy wrote first read:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In 1923, with the addition of “the flag of the United States of America,” 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."

In 1954, with the addition of “Under God,” it now 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."

ExploreCheck out a history of the pledge and  what it means to one man on MyStatesman.com.