What Are the Words of the Pledge of Allegiance?

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The official text of the Pledge of the Allegiance United States is: “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 Pledge of Allegiance was first published in September 1892 in “The Youth Companion.”

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by minister and Christian socialist Francis Bellamy, cousin of socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy, as part of 1892's Columbus Day celebration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.

Designed to be recited with a military-style salute in 15 seconds, Bellamy’s original text reads: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The words “the Flag of the United States” were added on Flag Day 1953 at the first National Flag Conference in Washington D.C. The words “of America” were added the next year. Congress officially recognized this wording of the Pledge on June 22, 1942.

Unofficially, the words “under God” were first added at a meeting of the Illinois Society of the Sons of the American Revolution on February 12, 1948. After several unsuccessful petitions by organizations such as the Knights of Columbus to change the wording, in 1954 Congress passed a joint resolution and President Eisenhower signed into law the addition of the words “under God” to the Pledge, bringing the total number of words to 31.