The Shocking History of
The Pledge of Allegiance

by Rich Birkett


The original Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892. Bellamy was a socialist. Not only was Bellamy a socialist, he was the worst kind of socialist: a nationalist socialist. He version of the pledge reads "I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible with liberty, equality and fraternity for all." During recitation of his pledge, the right arm was to be raised straight and forward with the hand palm facing down. The salute was called the "Bellamy salute" that later came to be known as the Nazi salute. The "my flag" in his pledge was generic enough to be suitable for use in any nation, including fascist Germany and communist Russia.

Belamy's pledge was popularized by the magazine Youth Companion that used his pledge to sell flags it was promoting and selling to public schools. In the magazine, Bellamy's pledge was altered by replacing "liberty, equality and fraternity", the rallying cry of socialists, with "liberty and justice" because it was easier to say and remember.

Several other revisions came later, such as replacing "my flag" with "the flag of the United States of America", replacing the Bellamy salute with the hand over the heart, and the insertion of "under god".