The Pledge of Allegiance is as familiar to Americans as the American flag. Millions of Americans have grown up saying the words daily as a part of their routine at public schools across the nation. Here are 9 facts you may not know about the Pledge of Allegiance:
1. Members of the military in uniform are actually to remain silent and simply salute it during the recitation of the pledge.
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2. Only non-religious hats worn by men need to be removed during the pledge of allegiance. Men should hold those hats at their left shoulder with their right hand over their heart.
3. The official hand-over-heart gesture
replaced an original straight arm in the air salute in 1942 because the straight arm in the air was reminiscent of the Nazi salute.
4. In certain states
, children could be expelled from schools and parents can even face fines if their children refuse to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. However, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in the West Virginia State Bd. Of Education V. Barnette that these laws were unconstitutional and violated a student’s right to free speech.
5. There have been five official versions of The Pledge of Allegiance since 1892. According to USHistory.org,
it was changed in 1922 to add the word “to” in the phrase “and to the republic.” In 1923, the words “the” and “of the United States” were added to the phrase “to the Flag of the United States.” In 1924, “of America” was added to the phrase “the United States of America.” It was changed in 1954 as well, with “under God” added.
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6. The original pledge, penned by Francis Bellamy, was intended for any person in any country to recite.
7. The pledge was officially recognized until 1945
, but it wasn’t until 1999 that the U.S. Senate officially used the Pledge of Allegiance as a part of its standing rules for starting the day. These days, the U.S. Senate recites the pledge right after the chaplain’s prayer.
8. American school children first recited the Pledge of Allegiance
on October 12, 1892 to mark Columbus Day and the 400th anniversary of his voyage.
9. The words “Under God” were officially added in 1954
. That phrasing was originated by the Knights of Columbus who had been using the additional phrase since 1951. President Eisenhower said of the addition, “These words will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble.”
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