“One nation (with no comma) under God”

Published 4:03 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I’ve noticed something at a couple of city meetings recently and want to give praise to City of Troy officials for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance the way it was meant to be proclaimed.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a city council meeting and smiled to myself when no pause was given between “one nation” and under God.” Call me an insane grammar lover, but that is the way the pledge is written. At last night’s council meeting it reminded me to give local leaders a pat on the back.

Cue the history lesson.

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Francis Bellamy visited with President Benjamin Harrison to ask him to back the idea of a flag flying over every school and the teaching of patriotism in all schools. On June 21, 1892, the President signed a proclamation that read: “Let the National Flag float over every school house in the country and the exercised be such as shall impress upon our youth the patriotic duty of American citizenship.”

Bellamy, in turn, wrote these famous words that were first printed in “Youth’s Companion” magazine on Sept. 8, 1892: “I pledge allegiance to my flag of the United States and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

During the second National Flag Conference in Washington D.C. (Flag Day) in 1924, the words “of America” were added. House Joint Resolution 243, approved by President Dwight Eisenhower on June 14, 1954, also added the words “under God.”

The pledge, as amended, still reads: “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.”

No comma, no pause. Good on ya, local leaders!