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Old 04-20-2005, 05:11 PM   #1
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Pledge of Allegiance

Question from dumb Canadian. Why does the pledge of allegiance get recited in US schools? And when did you start putting your hands on your hearts when listening to the anthem? We don't have anything like that in Canada, so I was just wondering if anyone knows the origins of these ceremonies. Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:16 PM   #2
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Supposedly saying the pledge in school helps raise us to be patriotic...or something....those are good questions.
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:18 PM   #3
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So when you question the government they can call you unpatriotic. I mean you did pledge your allegiance.
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:38 PM   #4
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I guess just to pledge loyalty to our country.

I never say the pledge just because I don't like pledging allegiance to a piece of cloth, but I stand anyway out of respect for those around me...
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:46 PM   #5
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i just get sick of saying it every damn school day its lost any meaning to me that it ever had.
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:51 PM   #6
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How does that work in school Dem? When do you say it? Does a bell go off and is it posted anywhere or does everyone have it memorized?
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Old 04-20-2005, 06:00 PM   #7
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Does anybody really think about the words of it? It's a waste of time. But if it makes some people feel like they've done their patriotic duty.........more power to them.
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Old 04-20-2005, 06:18 PM   #8
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Trevster2k - good question. I honestly don't know.
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Old 04-20-2005, 06:39 PM   #9
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Ok, I googled it and found this. I don't get it but I'm not an American. I love Canada but don't feel the need to express it except during hockey . Actually, I haven't come across too many people who have this kind of patriotism in Canada except for Newfoundlanders ( I'm from there). Newfies all over Canada like getting a licence plate with the provincial flag on it to let others know they are from the Rock. Sometimes, the pledge the students in the US take just creeps me out because it seems like brainwashing. Anyway, whatever turns your crank. Carry on neighbours to the south.



The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States, according to James A. Moss, an authority on the flag and its history, was first given national publicity through the official program of the National Public School Celebration of Columbus Day in October 1892. The Pledge had been published in theYouth's Companion for September 8,1892, and at the same time sent out in leaflet form throughout the country.During the Celebration it was repeated by more than 12,000,000 public school pupils in every state in the Union.

Mr. Francis Bellamy of Rome, New York, and Mr. James Upham of Malden, Massachusetts were both members of the staff of the Youth's Companion when the Pledge was published. The family of each man has contended that his was the authorship and both hold evidence to substantiate their claims.

To determine, in the interest of historical accuracy, the actual authorship, the United States Flag Association (formerly in Washington, D.C., but now disbanded), in 1939, appointed a committee consisting of Charles C. Tansill,Professor of American History; W. Reed West, Professor of Political Science; and Bernard Mayo, Professor of American History, to carefully weigh the evidence of the two contending families. Unanimously, the committee decided in favor of Francis Bellamy, and on May 18, 1939, the decision was accepted by the American Flag Committee. Mr. Bellamy had been chairman of the executive committee which formulated the program for the National Public School Celebration and furnished the publicity when he was on the staff of the Youth's Companion.

In the material which he nationally circulated, he wrote, “Let the flag float over every school-house in the land and the exercise be such as shall impress upon our youth the patriotic duty of citizenship.” He also included the original 23 words of the Pledge which he had developed. * 'to' added in October, 1892.

I pledge allegiance to my Flag,
and (to*) the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

Thus it was that on Columbus Day in October 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance was repeated by more than 12 million public school children in every state in the union.

The wording of the Pledge has been modified three times.

On June 14, 1923, at the First National Flag Conference held in Washington, D.C., under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words. The latter words were added on the ground that some foreign-born children and adults when giving the Pledge might have in mind the flag of their native land.In 1923, the words “the flag of the United States” were substituted for “my flag.”

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

In 1924, “of America” was added.

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.


On Flag Day June 14, 1954, the words “under God” were added

The last change in the Pledge of Allegiance occurred on June 14 (Flag Day), 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved adding the words "under God". As he authorized this change he said: "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."
This was the last change made to the Pledge of Allegiance. The 23 words what had been initially penned for a Columbus Day celebration now comprised a Thirty-one profession of loyalty and devotion to not only a flag, but to a way of life....the American ideal. Those words now read:

“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.”

The Pledge of Allegiance continued to be recited daily by children in schools across America, and gained heightened popularity among adults during the patriotic fervor created by World War II. It still was an "unofficial" pledge until June 22, 1942 when the United States Congress included the Pledge to the Flag in the United States Flag Code (Title 36). In 1945 the Pledge to the Flag received its official title as: The Pledge of Allegiance

When the Pledge is being given, all should stand with the right hand over the heart, fingers together and horizontal with the arm at as near a right angle as possible. After the words "justice to all," the arm should drop to the side. While giving the Pledge of Allegiance all should face the flag.

According to Colonel Moss, no disrespect is displayed by giving the Pledge with a gloved hand over the heart, but he calls our attention to the fact that an Army Officer or an enlisted man always removes his right glove upon taking his oath as a witness. The Daughters of the American Revolution follow the custom of having the right hand ungloved.

The idea of the annual PAUSE FOR THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE originated in 1980 at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore, Maryland. The National Flag Day Foundation. Inc. was created in 1982 “to conduct educational programs throughout the United States in promotion of National Flag Day and to encourage national patriotism by promotion of the PAUSE FOR THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGiANCE.”

On June 20, 1985, the Ninety-Ninth Congress passed and President Reagan signed Public Law 99-54 recognizing the PAUSE FOR THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE as part of National Flag Day activities. It is an invitation urging all Americans to participate on Flag Day, June 14, 7:00 p.m. (EDT) in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.




I guess this also explains the hand over the heart thing as it is something everyone learns as a child and adapts to all displays of nationalism.
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Old 04-20-2005, 06:49 PM   #10
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The Pledge first appeared in 1892 in a popular youth magazine. President Harrison, who liked its stirring invocation of national unity (the US was still reeling from the Civil War) encouraged public schools to use it in their Columbus Day celebrations, and a new civic tradiiton was born.

The 'under God' phrase dates only to 1954, when a group of 'Red Scare' Congressmen pushed through a bill to have it put in as a way of distinguishing us from those 'godless Communist' Soviets. (Ironically, the Baptist minister who originally wrote the Pledge had been a card-carrying socialist.)

It's never been a requirement that all schools observe the Pledge--personally, I had very few teachers who bothered--and where it is said, there's no requirement that all children participate: that would raise freedom of religion issues, since some denominations (e.g., Jehovah's Witnesses) forbid oaths of allegiance.

As for the physical aspect, the Pledge was originally recited with a military-derived stance that rather resembled the Nazis' 'Sieg Heil' salute--unsurprisingly, this was changed after WWII to the hand-over-heart position.
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Old 04-20-2005, 06:54 PM   #11
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Oops. Looks like you beat me to it trevster2k. But, since my account cites facts yours doesn't (and vice versa), I'll leave it in.
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