Pledge of Allegiance First Published 

U.S. #2593 was issued in Francis Bellamy’s hometown of Rome, New York, which is less than 20 miles from Mystic’s home in Camden.

On September 8, 1892, Francis Bellamy’s Pledge of Allegiance was published in The Youth’s Companion magazine to promote patriotism among children.

Francis Bellamy was raised in Rome, New York, where his father, David, was the pastor of the First Baptist Church. In 1885, Bellamy accepted a position with the Dearborn Street Church in Boston. While in Boston, Bellamy was part of a national committee that formed to foster patriotism in schools in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America. James Upham of The Youth’s Companion magazine also saw the event as an opportunity to realize his goal – of placing flags in every school in America.

Bellamy was tasked with writing a brief salute to be recited as the flag was raised. Though the result was just 23 words, Bellamy labored over every one of them, ensuring the final pledge would be both concise and meaningful. He penned the pledge on September 7, and it was published the following day:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands; one Nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”

A month later, the pledge was recited for the first time by over 12 million school children on Columbus Day. The pledge soon became a daily exercise at most American schools, and in the decades that followed, it became commonplace in meetings and events throughout the country. The Pledge of Allegiance was officially adopted as America’s national pledge on December 28, 1945.

Item #571153B – This cover bearing the 2000 Stars and Stripes flag stamps pictures two children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, a daily event in schools today.

Though its ideals are still the same, the wording has changed over the years. In 1923, the phrase “the flag of the United States of America” replaced “my Flag,” to distinguish it from the flags of other nations. The words “under God” were added in 1954, taken from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, but have come under attack as the battle over religion continues.

Perhaps the most unusual change came not in the wording, however, but in the salute that Bellamy devised to be used during the pledge. In 1942, this straight-arm salute was dropped when the Nazi Party in Germany began using it, and changed to placing a hand over the heart. The pledge, as it has remained since 1954, is “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.”

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  1. Is it possible to get a copy of all the previous this day in history????. Would be glad to pay the cost of shipping and handling.

    1. Hi George,

      Right now, you can access all the previous articles right here. And we’re working on making them available as a digital book. If there’s enough demand, we may get the articles printed in a book or album form. Thank you for the suggestion. Enjoy your stamps!

        1. I’ve been reading past entries, and also would be interested in some type of on-going album product.

  2. To add fire to the 1954 religious controversy, Bellamy’s original wording was precisely ” – one nation indivisible – ” (two bracketing hyphens, no dividing comma). In an apparent Freudian act, our “one nation indivisible” became literally and figuratively divided by “under God” and a comma. The framers of our Constitution were dividing our religious freedoms from the secular business of our nation’s government, not joining them.

  3. The 2000 Stars and Stripes issue was among my favorites. But as a former postal worker, I was disheartened to say it was seldom used. Don’t know why. They were such beautiful stamps.

  4. This is the first time that I have ever read about the origin of the pledge. That is fascinating. Thank you.

  5. It would shock many conservatives to learn that the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Christian socialist, Edward Bellamy.

  6. Oops, Francis was the Christian Socialist. His brother was Edward Bellamy, the socialist who was the author of Looking Backward.

  7. I would also enjoy all the articles in book form. Hurry up and do it as I am 91 years old and may not last long enough to enjoy them again.

  8. Interesting that none of these people involved, were Catholics. Catholics were hated and despised during the Colonial period of American History. Benjamin Franklin could “stand” Catholics. He even avoided walking in front
    of a Catholic Church. Again, the prejudices continue.

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