The Pledge of Allegiance: who wrote it and why, how it changed through the decades and how controversial it remains

Writing Odds n Ends

The Pledge of Allegiance:

Who wrote it and why,

How it changed through the decades

and How controversial it remains today

By L. Stewart Marsden

Pledge of Allegiance

NatPubSchCelColumbusDayBadge1892Driving my middle daughter to school the other day, she asked why public school children begin the day with the Pledge of Allegiance. A sophomore in high school, she thought the practice was out-of-line in terms of what she thought was worshiping a flag.

I confess I didn’t know much about how the pledge came to be. I knew that over the years it had changed — that the words “under God” were added later. On June 14, 1954 President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the resolution sponsored by Louis Rabaut, Rep-D from Michigan so doing. I was a little more than five months shy of turning age five.

So I grew up saluting the flag on a stick that protruded from…

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