Nice history here of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag – basically an idolatrous ritual, but meant to invoke a sense of equality – at least among the middle class.
Original wording by Bellamy, and as first used in public schools on Oct 12 1892 –
"I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands: one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
In 1924, for Flag Day, "my flag" was replaced by "the flag of the United States of America."
In 1954, the Catholic men’s group Knights of Columbus along with other religious leaders successfully campaigned to add the words "under God." Eisenhower was moved to agree because of the prospect of atomic war.
In 1988, the elder George Bush made the pledge a presidential campaign issue after Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis vetoed a bill requiring teachers to recite the pledge. Some Republicans sought to require a recital in Congress, but House Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas, voluntarily started a morning recital. The Senate began reciting the Pledge on June 24, 1999, after passing a resolution at the urging of Sen. Bob Smith, R-N.H.
So now it’s a campaign issue again, huh? But why doesn’t anyone ask the obvious question, why are we pledging our allegiance to a flag?