Many of us remember the experience of the Pledge of Allegiance when we were in the classroom, but what exactly should we do it? Where did the tradition originate from? Explore Facts About The Pledge Of Allegiance below!
For KPCC’s report series “Project Citizen,” we visited elementary school students to learn what they thought about the topic.
“It means you’re grateful,” said a first-grader.
We’ve compiled eight authentic facts about the ancient oath. Take a look, and you could be the winner of the next contest that you enter:
Facts About The Pledge Of Allegiance
- The Pledge was first written in 1892. It was presented in October at the Chicago World Fair Columbian Exposition to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of America.
- The Pledge’s creator, Francis Bellamy, never planned for the Pledge to be spoken regularly. The Pledge was written to be part of an annual school event to mark Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America.
- The original text of the Pledge of Allegiance didn’t contain “under God. “ Congress officially added that phrase in 1954.
- The Pledge was originally the military salute. The salute came to be connected with European fascists during the 1930s. Congress changed the U.S. Flag Code in 1942, recommending the hand-over-the-heart salute.
- In 1943, students were removed for not saying the Pledge at school. That issue was solved in 1943 in the Supreme Court decision West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, which declared that the First Amendment protects the freedom to refuse to speak as the right to freedom of speech.
- California Schools aren’t required by law to instruct students on the Pledge. The state’s education code requires that students participate in a patriotic daily exercise. The Pledge is widely used throughout the state to provide a way towards this end. However, it’s the individual school board members to make appropriate rules.
- Teachers aren’t required to read the Pledge or instruct their students on it even though their school district demands the students to recite it daily. The First Amendment permits them to take a bow.
- There have been previous promises to honor the flag. Civil war veteran George T. Balch wrote this Pledge in 1885 “I give my heart and my hand to my country–one country, one language, one flag.”
Also, read 25 Surprising Facts About Vermont