The Pledge of Allegiance and the American Flag
The Pledge of Allegiance was developed for children in the late 1800’s and published in a magazine for children called Youth’s Companion. The purpose of the Pledge was to teach children, from a young age, the commitment to their country and it was also to unify the country under one Union and one flag after the Civil war.
The pledge is a promise to both the United States of America and to the American national flag – one of unswerving loyalty and dedication. Traditionally, the pledge has been recited in public classrooms across the country and it is also sometimes used in large public events.
Today’s 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.
To complete the pledge properly, you should be standing straight, facing the American flag and your right hand should cross your body and cover your heart. You should also remove any head coverings when saying the pledge and if in military uniform, you should remain silent while facing the flag and at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance, complete the military salute.
The original pledge of allegiance was actually somewhat different than the one that is used today. It read, I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. The pledge was updated to its current form on June 14, 1954 to include the phrase “under God.”
The pledge of allegiance has become an important ritual for the children and adults of America who were raised to make their oath to their nation and their flag every morning. If you have a US flag at home, you can consider incorporating rituals like this with your own children to ensure they understand to respect this important symbol of our nation.