The Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance is an expression of loyalty to the Flag of the United States and the republic of the United States of America.  It was originally composed by Colonel George Balch in 1887, later revised by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942.  The official name of The Pledge of Allegiance was adopted in 1945.  The last change in language came on Flag Day, June 14, 1954, when the words "under God" were added by a Joint Resolution of Congress.

Congressional sessions open with the recital of the Pledge, as do many government meetings at local levels and meetings held by many private organizations.  It is also commonly recited in school at the beginning of every school day, although the Supreme Court has ruled that students cannot be compelled to recite the Pledge, nor can they be punished for not doing so.

The United States Flag Code states:

The Pledge of Allegiance 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.  Members of the Armed Forces not in uniform and veterans may render the military salute in the manner provided for persons in uniform.

Pledge of Allegiance
(Changes Are Underlined)

1892 (First Version)

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which

it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

1892 to 1923

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which

it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

1923 to 1954

"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."

1954 (Current Version)

"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."