The History of the Pledge of Allegiance August 4, 2009

The History of the Pledge of Allegiance

Reader Ryan made a very nifty-looking presentation about the Pledge of Allegiance.

I’ll admit I did not know about the pre-hand-on-heart gesture used during recitations of the Pledge…

Ryan also explains some of the Constitutional issues surrounding it. It’s a quick, helpful history and a great reference.


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  • TXatheist

    Very well done.

  • A lot of people don’t know that the salute was changed in the 40’s…The presentation describes it as the “Bellamy Salute”… but it was known as the Roman Salute before that.

  • Epistaxis

    “Oops, trouble with your Prezi!?”

  • keddaw

    Can’t, in any way, agree with the pledge of allegiance.

    In a free society people should be able to oppose any of the tennets of that country and try to convince others to agree with your points.

    Otherwise you end up with communist witch hunts, Bush and Fox saying “you’re either with us or against us” or any number of statements or acts that Orwell would have recognised from his own work.

  • Grado

    I kinda agree…as an atheist I dont like that “One nation under God”, also its like saying I will be loyal to everything this country represents and does worldwide, which is SOOOOOO not the case. So I just cross my fingers while I say it. 😛

  • jdhuey

    I can’t say that I liked the presentation medium. I found it difficult to maneuver. While the content is great, I would prefer a more standard presentation. But then again, I’m an old geezer.

  • Ken McKnight

    Nicely done, although, as an English teacher, I wish Ryan would clean up those numerous spelling errors. (Even “atheist” is misspelled at one point!)

  • Ron in Houston

    Good work Ryan. Interesting stuff.

  • Charon

    The former gesture… oh, yes. When I was challenged by a high-school teacher on my insistence that I wouldn’t say the pledge, I dug up and read the whole West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943) decision, and learned about that gesture… I also copied and passed on the whole Supreme Court decision to my teacher, which finally shut him up.

  • jaludtke

    jdhuey, it’s got nothing to do with being an old geezer. There are ways that Western readers are taught to read; having text that starts at the top left and then flows down and to the right is what is the easiest to figure out. Anything that diverges from that is difficult to grasp, and with the large amount of content that exists in the world, it’s easier just to give up and move on to something more easily grasped in its design.

    Ryan, if you’re out there, sorry. If you want to reach better numbers of readers, read some basic graphic design theory or just make your text as boring as hell. Different font sizes + unusual clustering of paragraphs makes your readers have to fight to understand what you are saying. Why put roadblocks in the way of your message?

  • gribblethemunchkin

    I liked the presentation. But then i’m a sucker for anything that swooshes!

    Very interesting read too, i’m not very up about the pledge of allegience although i’m familiar with the under god issues. Didn’t know about the old salute, glad that got changed, its a far more military gesture than the more tender hand on heart.

    Of course, the whole idea of a pledge of allegience is rather abhorrent to me. The idea of enforcing recitation is simply thuggish and tyrannical.

    Frankly i’m scared silly by patriotism as its so easily twisted into nationalism. European history tends to hammer home quite effectively the pitfalls of excessive patriotism and my own visit to the war cemetaries of Ypres opened my eyes to the horror of national unity when abused.