The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of loyalty to the federal flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942. The Pledge has been modified four times since its composition.
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
1892 to 1922
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
"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."
1924 to 1954
"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."
1954 to Present
"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."
According to the Flag Code, the Pledge "should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute."
Prior to February 1954, no endeavor to get the Pledge officially amended succeeded. The final successful push came from George MacPherson Docherty. Some American presidents honored Lincoln's birthday by attending services at the church Lincoln attended, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church by sitting in Lincoln's pew on the Sunday nearest February 12. On February 7, 1954, with President Eisenhower sitting in Lincoln's pew, the church's pastor, George MacPherson Docherty, delivered a sermon based on the Gettysburg Address titled "A New Birth of Freedom." He argued that the nation's might lay not in arms but its spirit and higher purpose. He noted that the Pledge's sentiments could be those of any nation, that "there was something missing in the pledge, and that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the American way of life." He cited Lincoln's words "under God" as defining words that set the United States apart from other nations.
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But are we a nation under God? This would imply that God is over us. That we look up to Him.
Instead it seems that we are not indivisible, but divided by those who are under God and those who are not.
Liberty and Justice is often abused by those who are not "under God."
America is a great and beautiful country.
We need to return to being "United" states, "one" nation, undivided.
But for that to happen, I believe we would need to get back to being "under God."