When we say the Pledge of Allegiance, we are showing loyalty to the flag, or the United States. I must say I’m not sure why people would declare loyalty to an inanimate object in general, but the flag is a little more than a colored piece of cloth. The text of the Pledge is as follows
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 pledge was invented by the son of a famous flag manufacturer and distributor – Francis Bellamy. He wanted a flag in every school house in the same way that Bill Gates wanted a computer on every desk and Michael Dell wanted a laptop on every, er, lap. He copied much of the text from the French, removing fraternities from the mix, as he didn’t want it to be synonymous with keg stands and beer pong, and under age drinking in togas.
Aside from boosting flag sales, it was all pretty innocuous until President Eisenhower – the born again, J0nny come lately, Presbyterian, urged a buddy of his to add “under god” into the Pledge in the 1950s. So ten years before black people could vote, everybody got to add “under god” to their daily saying at public school, mixing up church and state education once and for all. Mind you that could change – the original Bellamy salute at the end of the pledge was dropped as the US wanted to remove itself from association with the Adolf-centered regime in Europe of the middle 1900s.
It’s not often that I side with the Jehovah’s Witnesses on anything, but they legally challenged the addition of “under god” to the Pledge. As of 2013, 45 States give time to reciting of the Pledge in schools.