Tuesday, June 17, 2014

60 years ago: U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower adds "under God" to Pledge of Allegiance

On June 14, 1954, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower signed the order inserting the words "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance. The pledge, written by socialist minister Francis Bellamy in 1892, read:

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
It was altered in 1923 to 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.
The 1954 version, which is the one used today, 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.
A lawyer named Rex Curry has a site that's quite critical of the Pledge (the site used to be much more comprehensive, but what remains is better than nothing). One of the criticisms offered by Mr. Curry was that, thanks to the Pledge, the flag no longer belonged to the people, but the people now belonged to the flag. As for "one nation, indivisible," so much for the founding principle that the states were sovereign states with the right to leave the Union if they so desired.

I urge the reader to click the links on Mr. Curry's site to see the salute that originally accompanied the recitation of the pledge--the revelation may be shocking. For more evidence of what the original salute was, you can see an example of it in this excerpt from the trailer for the movie Joe Smith, American (1942), starring Robert Young:




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