Francis Bellamy: Pledge of Allegiance

In August 1892, a magazine called The Youth's Companion commissioned editor Francis Bellamy to write a flag salute for public school students to recite to mark the 400th annniversary of Columbus's discovery of the New World. Bellamy composed the original Pledge of Allegiance:

'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'

Ironically, Bellamy, a former Baptist minister, made no mention of God. He did, however, consider placing the word 'equality' in his Pledge. Indeed, in his sermons and lectures, Bellamy (like his cousin, the utopian socialist novelist Edward Bellamy) described in detail how the middle class could create a planned economy with political, social and economic equality for all. According to biographer John W. Baer, Bellamy chose to omit the word "because he knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans."

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