The controversy behind the Pledge of Allegiance

Olivia Durcan and Jaclyn Bobbe

A lone student stands for the Pledge of Allegiance. (Jaclyn Bobbe)

“I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic
for which it stands
one nation
under God
with liberty and justice for all.”


The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August of 1892 by a socialist minister named Francis Bellemy. The pledge was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on Sept. 8, 1892 Bellemy hoped that the pledge he created would be used by citizens in any country. Originally, the pledge was designed with the right arm facing outwards, but it was changed due to its similarities with the Nazi salute. Ever since its creation, it was meant to be said standing while facing the American flag with the right hand over the heart with the purpose of schoolchildren having an oath of allegiance before starting class. However, more recently, the necessity and importance of the pledge has been questioned.

In recent years, the Pledge of Allegiance targeted state constitutions twice. According to the National Constitution Center, a case in 2014 had a party claim that the requirement of saying the pledge and claiming that “ the Pledge requirement, including the use of the words “under God,” violated the equal protection clause of the state’s constitution.” As time goes on, more events draw attention to the fact that students have to stand for the pledge and recite it daily.

Ultimately, as time goes on and more individuals express their opinion on the Pledge, the question pertaining to its importance only grows. As observed in schools, more students sit down and stay silent during the pledge, in response to recent events in the news and the number of cases with the goal to eliminate the phrase “Under God.”