Submitted by ub on Sun, 09/09/2012 - 12:10

Those two political conventions are finally over. US can expect the mud-slinging to intensify as we count down to election day. We are less than two months away and it appears that our leaders are more concerned about attacking each other, than working with one another to create a bi-partisan plan to strengthen our Republic.

We the people of this great nation know as The United State of America have just celebrated a notable 120th anniversary with little fanfare. On September 8, 1892 a Boston-based youth magazine "The Youth's Companion" published a 22-word recitation for school children to use during planned activities the following month to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America. Under the title "The Pledge to the Flag", the composition was the earliest version of what we now know as the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.

The October 12, 1892 Columbus Day celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the discovery of America was planned for years in advance, and anticipated much as modern Americans look forward to and plan for the advent of a new century. The United States had recovered from most of the effects of its Civil War that began 30 years earlier, and people from around the world were flocking to the "Land of Opportunity". The previous year almost a half million immigrants had entered the United States through the Barge Office in Battery Park, New York and on New Years day of 1892 the new Federal Bureau of Receiving's station at Ellis Island had opened.

Two men interested in both education and planned Columbus Day celebrations around our Nation's 44 states were Francis Bellamy and James Upham. To this day it is still unknown which of the two men actually authored the words that were to become the Pledge of Allegiance. It was published anonymously and not copyrighted. James Upham was an employee of the Boston publishing firm that produced "The Youth's Companion" in which it first appeared. Francis Bellamy was an educator who served as chairman of the National committee of educators and civic leaders who were planning the Columbus Day activities. What we do know for certain is that the words first appeared in the September 8, 1892 issue of "The Youth's Companion", and a month later more than 12 million school children recited the words for the first time in schools across the nation. Our Pledge of Allegiance was born, but like anything new, it took many years to "reach maturity", and underwent several changes along the way. That first Pledge of Allegiance read:

I pledge allegiance to my Flag,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

October 11, 1892

After the Columbus Day celebration the Pledge to the Flag became a popular daily routine in America's public schools, but gained little attention elsewhere for almost 25 years. Finally, on Flag Day - June 14, 1923, the Pledge received major attention from adults who had gathered for the first National Flag Conference in Washington, D.C. Here their Conference agenda took note of the wording in the Pledge. There was concern that, with the number of immigrants now living in the United States, there might be some confusion when the words "My Flag" were recited. To correct this the pledge was altered to read:

I pledge allegiance to my the
Flag of the United States,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

June 14, 1923

The following year the wording was changed again to read:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

June 14, 1924

The Pledge of Allegiance continued to be recited daily by children in schools across America, and gained heightened popularity among adults during the patriotic fervor created by World War II. It still was an "unofficial" pledge until June 22, 1942 when the United States Congress included the Pledge to the Flag in the United States Flag Code (Title 36). This was the first Official sanction given to the words that had been recited each day by children for almost fifty years. One year after receiving this official sanction, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite the Pledge as part of their daily routine. In 1945 the Pledge to the Flag received its official title as:

The Pledge of Allegiance

The last change in the Pledge of Allegiance occurred on June 14 (Flag Day), 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved adding the words "under God". As he authorized this change he said:

"In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."

This was the last change made to the Pledge of Allegiance. The 23 words what had been initially penned for a Columbus Day celebration now comprised a Thirty-one profession of loyalty and devotion to not only a flag, but to a way of life....the American ideal. Those words now read:

flag2.gif (8316 bytes)
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.

June 14, 1954

In 1892, 1923, 1924 and 1954 the American people demonstrated enough concern about the actual words in the Pledge to make some necessary changes. Today there may be a tendency among many Americans to recite "by rote" with little thought for the words themselves. Let's examine these 31 words which many have spoken a little more thoroughly.

I Pledge Allegiance I promise loyalty

to the flag to the emblem that stands for and represents

of the United States all 50 states, each of them individual, and individually represented

of America UNION of one Nation.

and to the Republic Government that is a Republic, where the PEOPLE are sovereign,

for which it stands, represented by the Flag to which I promise loyalty.

one Nation under God Republic under the Divine providence of God,

Indivisible, and can not be separated. Written following our civil war.

with Liberty The freedom to pursue "life, liberty, and happiness",

and Justice And each person entitled to be treated justly and fairly

for All. And these principles afforded to EVERY AMERICAN, regardless of race, religion, color, creed, or any other criteria. Just as the flag represents 50 individual states that can not be divided or separated, this Nation represents millions of people who can not be separated or divided.

*Promise your loyalty to the Flag itself.
*Promise your loyalty to your own and the other 49 States.
*Promise your loyalty to the Government that unites us all,
*Recognize that we are one Nation under God,
*That we can not or should not be divided or alone,
*Understanding the right to Liberty and Justice belongs to ALL of us.

So why have we allowed ourselves to be divided into separate political factions or political parties? We are also seeing fragmented sub-factions, or parties within a party, which may be referred to as power, or voting blocs.

Why must these factions band as a way of achieving their goals and advancing agendas?