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Flag Day (United States)

'Under God' wasn't in the original pledge of allegiance

'Under God' wasn't in the original pledge of allegiance

In the seemingly continuous and contentious kerfuffle between the secular and religious segments of society, the "under God" phrase of the Pledge of Allegiance is repeatedly raised. Today there are bumper stickers that state emphatically "One nation under God," and the point is frequently made that the phrase is from the founding fathers and has always been part of the pledge. Wrong and wrong.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892, well after the country's founding, as a part of a promotion of The Youth's Companion magazine to sell flags to schools for the 400th anniversary of Columbus' landing in the new world. The magazine owner, Daniel Ford Sharp,...