Tearing Our Country Apart Over A Power Struggle
The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), a Baptist minister, a Christian Socialist, and the cousin of Socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850-1898). Bellamy's original "Pledge of Allegiance" was published in the September 8th issue of the popular children's magazine The Youth's Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's discovery of America, conceived by James B. Upham.
Bellamy's original Pledge read, "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. America"
The pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point. Bellamy designed it to be stated in 15 seconds. He had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided they were too controversial since many people opposed equal rights for women and blacks. Bellamy said that the purpose of the pledge was to teach obedience to the state as a virtue and that the United States supports the flag.
After a proclamation by President Benjamin Harrison, the Pledge was first used in public schools on October 12, 1892 during Columbus Day observances. This date was also significant as it was the dedication day of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Bellamy thought that the pledge itself and the involvement of children across the country would be a fine show of national solidarity.
In 1923 the National Flag Conference called for the words my Flag to be changed to the Flag of the United States. The reason given was to ensure that immigrants knew to which flag reference was being made. The words "of America" were added a year later. The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Pledge as the official national pledge on June 22, 1942.