Pledge of Allegiance Etiquette and History

Where did the Pledge of Allegiance come from and why do we recite it while facing an American flag? Here is everything you need to know about Pledge of Allegiance etiquette and history

The Pledge of Allegiance has been around since Minister Francis Bellamy wrote it in August 1892. He originally published the pledge on September 8th, 1892 in The Youth’s Companion in hopes that citizens of any country would recite it as a way to pay respect to their country and flag.

Pledge of Allegiane in Classroom

The original pledge was much shorter than we know today. It read:

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

However, in 1923 it was lengthened by adding “the Flag of the United States of America.” Then again in 1954 even more lines were added while President Dwight D. Eisenhower was in office. This was the final time it was edited, which gave us the 31-word pledge we say now. Today the Pledge of Allegiance reads:

Pledge of Allegiane with US flag

“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.”

The United States Flag Code sets forth a set of guidelines that all Americans should follow while saying the Pledge of Allegiance. According to the code, everyone should stand at attention, facing the US flag with their right hand over their heart while saying the pledge. If not in uniform, all hats or other head wear should be removed as a sign of respect. Those in uniform should render the military salute and remain silent.


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