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The Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to my Flag
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all

These were the words of the original Pledge of Allegiance, written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy. A Christian socialist, Belamy's Pledge expressed his belief in political, social and economic equality for all Americans. In fact, Bellamy was so committed to equality that he wanted to include the word 'equality' in his Pledge, but he didn't since his state was officially opposed to equality for women and African Americans.

Bellamy's version of the Pledge was published in the September 1892 edition of The Youth's Companion, the 19th century equivalent to The Reader's Digest. In 1923, the words of the Pledge were changed from "my Flag" to "the Flag of the United States of America" -- a change protested by Bellamy but overruled by the American Legion & the Daughters of the American Revolution.

During the 1950s, the Knights of Columbus successfully campaigned Congress to add the words 'under God' -- an addition that Bellamy's granddaughter said he would have resented. A former Baptist minister, Bellamy was asked to leave his church in 1891 because of his socialistic sermons. He later stopped attending church altogether because he disapproved of the racial bigotry he found rampant there.

Current version of the Pledge of Allegiance

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.

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