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Pledge of Allegiance

Written by Francis Bellamy

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The creation of the Pledge of Allegiance is attributed to Francis Bellamy, an American Baptist minister, and social activist. Born on May 18, 1855, in Mount Morris, New York, Bellamy pursued a career in theology and journalism. He was deeply concerned about the issues of social justice and inequality that marked his era. Bellamy's socialist leanings influenced his views on promoting national unity and patriotism as a means to address these societal challenges.

In 1892, against the backdrop of a rapidly industrializing and diversifying America, Bellamy was tasked with crafting a pledge to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. Bellamy, who worked as a writer and editor for a family magazine called "The Youth's Companion," aimed to foster a sense of unity among Americans from different backgrounds and to instill a sense of loyalty to the United States. The resulting Pledge of Allegiance, originally written as a 23-word oath, emphasized loyalty to the flag and the values it symbolized. The pledge's original version 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 of Allegiance was developed as a way to promote patriotism and national cohesion in a time of social change and growing diversity. Bellamy's hope was that the pledge would serve as a unifying force, transcending differences of race, religion, and class. It was intended to instill a sense of collective identity and pride in being American citizens. Over time, the pledge gained traction and became widely recited in schools, public events, and government ceremonies, symbolizing a commitment to the principles and values of the United States. Despite evolving interpretations and occasional controversies, Francis Bellamy's creation has become an enduring expression of allegiance to the nation and remains a cornerstone of American civic life.

 

Additional Resources:

 

Pledge of Allegiance Written by Francis Bellamy

 

Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag; Manner of Delivery

 

The Man Who Wrote the Pledge of Allegiance

 

The History of Legal Challenges to the Pledge of Allegiance

 

 

BOOKS:

  1. "The Pledge: A History of the Pledge of Allegiance" by Jeffrey Owen Jones and Peter Meyer

  2. "To Be a U.S. Army Green Beret" by Orr Kelly (Includes a chapter on the Pledge of Allegiance and its author, Francis Bellamy.)

  3. "Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas" by David Hackett Fischer

  4. "To Plead Our Own Cause: African Americans in Massachusetts and the Making of the Antislavery Movement" by Christopher Cameron

  5. "The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution" by Linda R. Monk (Covers the Pledge of Allegiance and its history.)

  6. "The Pledge of Allegiance: A Revised History and Analysis, 1892–2007" by John W. Baer

  7. "God and the Pledge of Allegiance" by Michael Newdow and Randal P. Czekalla

  8. "Liberty and Union: A Constitutional History of the United States" by Edgar J. McManus and Tara Helfman (Includes discussions of the Pledge of Allegiance's legal controversies.)

  9. "The Pledge of Allegiance: A Centennial History, 1892-1992" by John W. Baer

  10. "With Liberty and Justice for All: The Story of the Pledge of Allegiance" by Barbara Diggs

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