The Pledge of Allegiance has gone through a few changes since Francis Bellamy, a socialist, wrote the original draft in 1892. This is how it was recited by both school children and public officials for a number of years:
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The pledge was recited in the “Bellamy Salute,” with the right hand raised outwardly.
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This practice disappeared during World War II when some astute individual pointed out that Nazis shared the same gesture. About twenty years earlier, “my Flag” had already been replaced with “the Flag of the United States of America,” just in case anyone had doubts as to whose flag he was giving his allegiance to.
But the most controversial change occurred in 1954 — 23 years after Bellamy’s death — when “under God” was shoehorned into the Pledge of Allegiance to differentiate ourselves from the U.S.S.R., which at the time was officially an atheist state. This was the Cold War, after all.
Even though Bellamy was himself a Christian, he would probably have disapproved of this alteration. And even though a majority of Russians now characterize themselves as Orthodox Christians even though President Obama, also a Christian, publicly announced that the United States is not strictly a Christian or Jewish or Muslim state; even though our Enlightenment-era Founding Fathers would have face-palmed at the thought of “God” being uttered?in an oath directed at the United States flag, we still stubbornly retain those two simple yet polarizing words.
Fortunately, we can still hear the Pledge of Allegiance spoken in all its secular glory by none other than Porky Pig. The animated Warner Bros. short was created in 1939, 15 years before Congress changed Bellamy’s pledge.
Watch the clip below: