The Pledge of Allegiance, a timeless tradition for millions of Americans, continues to be a topic of discussion due to continuing court cases. Nine in ten Americans favor keeping the phrase, “under God”, in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Yet, how many Americans know the history of the Pledge - who wrote it? And when? Is the Pledge we recite today the same Pledge that our grandparents recited when they were young? Why was the Pledge written in the first place? Is the phrase, “under God”, original to the Pledge? If it is not, when was it added? And why?
Each of these questions, and more, is answered in my book, America's Story: A Pictorial History of the Pledge of Allegiance. Meticulously supported with original documents and historical photographs, this book reveals a fascinating slice of America's past that, until now, has never been published for young readers. More significantly, America’s Story: A Pictorial History of the Pledge of Allegiance compiles information that has never before been published for any audience, young or otherwise.
The history begins in 1888 with an advertisement in The Youth's Companion to sell American flags. Thus began the Schoolhouse Flag Movement, which set the stage for public schools across the nation to simultaneously celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America. It was for this occasion the Pledge of Allegiance was written. This book not only recounts the Schoolhouse Flag Movement, it documents the evolution of the Flag Movement through images of the ads themselves, adding authenticity and interest for the reader.
America’s Story: A Pictorial History of the Pledge of Allegiance chronicles the fascinating "story behind the story" that ultimately resulted in 13 million school children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for the very first time in 1892. The author takes the reader from post-Civil War America, explaining why the Schoolhouse Flag Movement was attempted in the first place, to the mid-20th century, revealing why a little known Congressman from Michigan proposed legislation to insert the phrase, "under God", in the Pledge.
The growth of the flag campaign, the accompanying emergence of flag salutes, the role of the Chicago World's Fair in the enormity of the first Columbus Day celebration, the dramatic account of how the Pledge was nearly never written, the eternal mystery attached to the Pledge's authorship, and the mix-up about the real date of Columbus' discovery - all of this is written succinctly and entertainingly for young readers.
At a time when America is once again threatened by powers that wish to destroy her, we simply cannot afford to allow the Pledge to fall victim to political correctness. Nor can we continue in ignorance of its true history. Because the history of the Pledge is, in many ways, the history of America. We are, indeed, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.