warning: the majority of what is to follow was found at wikipedia. seems to be unchallenged, but PLEASE feel free to correct as necessary.
The Pledge of Allegiance (as stated in this post's title) was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), a Baptist minister, a Christian Socialist and the cousin of Socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy. Cousin Edward wrote Looking Backward (It was written in reaction to the disillusionment with an increasingly competitive and industrial society), and its sequel " Equality", dealing with women's rights, education and many other issues. Make sure to (or not) read about his father (baptist minister), mother (calvinist), and grandfather (was a baptist minister but kicked out cause he was also a freemason)
O.K......back to Francis:
The pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point. Bellamy designed it to be stated in 15 seconds. He had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided they were too controversial since many people opposed equal rights for women and blacks. He said that the purpose of the pledge was to teach obedience to the state as a virtue and that the United States supports the flag. Bellamy's original "Pledge of Allegiance" was published in the September 8th issue of the popular children's magazine The Youth's Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's discovery of America.
Now Come the Changes
Official versions (changes in bold )
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”
1892 to 1923
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."
1923 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."
In 1923 the National Flag Conference called for the words my Flag to be changed to the Flag of the United States. The reason given was to ensure that immigrants knew to which flag reference was being made. The words "of America" were added a year later. The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Pledge as the official national pledge on December 28, 1945.
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."
The Knights of Columbus in New York City felt that the pledge was incomplete without any reference to a deity. Appealing to the authority of Abraham Lincoln, the Knights felt that the words "under God" which were from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address were most appropriate to add to the Pledge. In New York City on April 22, 1951, the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution to amend their recitation of Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of each of the meetings of the 800 Fourth Degree Assemblies of the Knights of Columbus by addition of the words "under God" after the words "one nation."
(The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Roman Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in the United States in 1882, it is named in honor of Christopher Columbus and dedicated to the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism.)
Though the Knights of Columbus tried, they were unsuccessful in their attempts to persuade the United States government to amend the pledge.
BUT - a Presbyterian minister was successful:
The minister was George MacPherson Docherty, a native of Scotland who was called to succeed Peter Marshall as pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church near the White House, where, in 1863, the same year as the address, Lincoln attended and even rented a pew. After Lincoln’s death, the pew that he rented became something of a national monument. It became customary for later United States presidents to attend services at the church and sit in the Lincoln pew on the Sunday closest to Lincoln’s birthday (February 12) each year.
As Lincoln Sunday (February 7, 1954) approached, Rev. Docherty knew not only that President Dwight Eisenhower was to be in attendance, but that it was more than just an annual ritual for him; while President, Eisenhower had been baptized a Presbyterian. Docherty's sermon focused on the Gettysburg Address, drawing its title from the address, "A New Birth of Freedom."
On the very next day, Eisenhower had the wheels turning in Congress to incorporate Docherty’s suggestion into law. On February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill to that effect. On Lincoln’s birthday, four days later, Oakman made the following speech on the floor of the House:
Last Sunday, the President of the United States and his family occupied the pew where Abraham Lincoln worshipped.The pastor, the Reverend George M. Docherty, suggested the change in our Pledge of Allegiance that I have offered [as a bill]. Dr. Docherty delivered a wise sermon. He said that as a native of Scotland come to these shores he could appreciate the pledge as something more than a hollow verse taught to children for memory. I would like to quote from his words. He said, 'there was something missing in the pledge, and that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the American way of life.' Mr. Speaker, I think Mr. Docherty hit the nail square on the head.
These words [“under God”] will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble. They will help us to keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded
(Oh Liz...... I could really use a head banging, puke icon right about here!)
I can't help but wonder if I-Lie Joe (Lieberman that is) will be referencing "under God" and the Pledge connection as he prepares for the 10 commandment resolution.
Maybe he'll just do an e-mail blast to all his legal-eagle friends with this youtube video:
Forgive me Red
(I'm a big fan), but........
you're a hypocrite, just like most of us.