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Remember this? A Pledge of Allegiance | Arts & Entertainment

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It almost seems like the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag has been around forever. I would wager that from an early age most of us stood at attention, placed our right hand over our heart while facing the American flag in class, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. For most Americans, it’s as easy to recite as counting from one to 10. Although we have recited the pledge countless times throughout our lives, we still include the strategically placed pauses which were designed to aid in memorization.

The Pledge of Allegiance, however, has taken many forms and has evolved through the years. In the late 1880s and early 1890s, patriotism was waning due to the difficulties of the Civil War. In 1887, Captain George Balch, a Civil War veteran, drafted the first known pledge to an American flag to help teach children, especially immigrant children, loyalty to the United States. In addition, Balch helped distribute American flags to classrooms. His pledge was quickly adopted by schools across the United States. It read:

A writer of history, Brad Dison earned his master’s degree in the subject from Louisiana Tech University. He has written four history books and has been published in newspapers and scholarly journals. Keep up with the column through the Facebook group “Remember This? by Brad Dison.” For more real stories about real people with a twist, listen to Brad Dison’s podcast “Remember This?” at Dison’s book “Remember this?” is available for preorder on that site.