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Pledge of Allegiance

(Hand over heart, standing) “I pledge allegiance (pause) to the flag (pause) of the United States of America (pause) and to the Republic (pause) for which it stands; one nation (pause) under God (pause), indivisible (pause), with liberty and justice for all.” This statement, repeated daily in schools, assemblies and the swearing in of new US citizens, evokes both verbal rhythms and behaviors in many Americans. Written by Francis Bellamy for the magazine Youth’s Companion (1892), it restates fundamental ideological values of citizenship. Yet, as an apothegmatic credo, it has both chartered radical social change (“liberty and justice for all”) and evoked protests in classrooms, especially in the Vietnam era and with regards to separation of church and state.

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