Stand up, take off your hat (if you’re wearing one!), face the flag, put your right hand over your heart and repeat after us:

“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.”

You’ve probably repeated that pledge many times in your life, but did you ever stop to WONDER who wrote it and why? Let’s take a closer look at the history behind the Pledge of Allegiance!

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a minister named Francis Bellamy in 1892. It was originally published in a children’s magazine called The Youth’s Companion as part of a national public school celebration of Columbus Day. It wasn’t formally adopted by Congress as the Pledge of Allegiance until 1942.

Bellamy’s original version of the Pledge of Allegiance was slightly different from the current version:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Since the publication of Bellamy’s original version, the Pledge of Allegiance has been modified four times. The most recent change was adding the words “under God” in 1954.

Today, the Pledge of Allegiance is recited in many different settings. From sessions of Congress and public meetings to the start of school days and sporting events, millions of people of all ages recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day.

Proper etiquette for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance includes standing, removing your hat, facing the flag and placing your right hand over your heart. Members of the military will usually stand at attention and give the military salute.

56 Join the Discussion

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    • That’s so cool to hear, Wonder Friend Kate! What a great way to begin the day, honoring your country with your entire school! Thank you for sharing your patriotic connection to today’s Wonder, Kate! :)

  1. Thoughts: I think it was interesting to learn that the pledge was modified four times. (Kevin) I think it was interesting to find out that a minister wrote the original version of the pledge. (Gabrielle)

    Connections: This reminds me of a dream because in my dream I met a pirate who kept singing the national anthem. (Briahna) This reminds me of being in Orlando, Florida, because when the alarm clock went off at first we heard Rock music and then the national anthem started. (Andrew)

    Predictions: Have you ever dressed up like a chicken? (Pedro) What is laughing gas? (Cristian) What is Sideways Stories? (Jaaron) Do you have skin? (James) Do you wear make-up? (Michelle) What would we look like without eyebrows? (Gisselle)

    • Kevin and Gabrielle, thank you for sharing the cool facts you learned about the Pledge of Allegiance today! Andrew and Briahna, it sounds like you’ve been waking up to some form of patriotic music- how funny! Thanks for sharing your connections!

      We are so happy to read all your awesome predictions for tomorrow, Pedro, Cristian, Jaaron, James, Michelle, and Giselle! You have done a great job of using context clues today! Thank you, Wonder Friends from Mrs. Hess Class! We look forward to WONDERing with you everyday! :)

    • Head, shoulders, knees and toes… we LOVE your predictions for tomorrow’s Wonder, Ms. Bayko’s Class! We are so excited that you’re on the right path… we think you’ll be counting while you Wonder tomorrow! Thanks for being great Wonder Friends- we always enjoy your predictions! :)

  2. Comments: We are proud to say the Pledge of Allegiance everyday! Ryan: I loved the video Jake: I was interested in learning who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. Sierra: I didn’t know it was written by a minister. Rashad: I can’t believe it has been changed 4 times.

    Predictions: your nose, hair, mouth or ears

    • Good morning, Miss Marsico’s Class! It is so great to read your comments and connections to today’s patriotic Wonder! Ryan, Jake, Sierra and Rashad, we’re glad you shared what you learned about the history of the Pledge of Allegiance! We say it every day, so now we know the story behind it!

      Thank you for sharing your awesome predictions for tomorrow! We think you’ll be very familiar with tomorrow’s Wonder! :)

  3. Thoughts, Connections and Questions: David- The video didn’t say who wrote the pledge of allegiance. Bryan- Why do we say the pledge of allegiance? Hayden- Why did they have a bunch of people say the pledge at the same time in the video?

    Predictions: Bryan- Why do people make funny faces? Sierra- Why do people dress as clowns? David- Why do people dress up? Michael- What’s the purpose of a circus? Stephanie- What would we look like without hair? Hayden- Why do people shave their hair off their head? Erica- Why do people dress funny?

    • Good morning, Wonder Friends in Mrs. VanDusen’s Class! We Wonder if you can think of the different reasons that the Pledge of Allegiance is important in our everyday lives. We think it has a lot to do with respect, honor and patriotism. We Wonder what you think about it, David, Bryan, and Hayden? :)

      We think you’re doing a SUPER job of using context clues to form your predictions for tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day®, Mrs. VanDusen’s Class! Thank you for posting your predictions, Bryan, Sierra, David, Michael, Stephanie, Hayden and Erica! :)

  4. Hi Wonderopolis!

    Why do you have to take off your hat to say the pledge?
    Your videos are not bad!
    Can you please put another dancing hot dog video on?
    Why did the original pledge not have all the words in it? So why did they say the pledge differently a long long time ago?

    We predict tomorrow’s wonder will be about hot dogs, silly faces, your hair, your pants, and parts of your body.

    • Good morning, Wonder Friends from Froggy 1! We are glad you’re here today! :)

      We Wonder how you show respect? Does it include removing your hat, keeping quiet when someone else is speaking, sitting or standing in a calm manner? We like WONDERing about the Pledge of Allegiance with you– it’s a pledge that has to do with respect and honor for the United States of America. We are glad we learned about the history of this famous Pledge, and how it has changed over the years!

      Thanks for sharing your suggestions for videos and your predictions for tomorrow! We will see you soon! :)

  5. We say the pledge every morning. My dad has a shirt with part of the pledge on it. It is important to look at the flag when we say the pledge. I didn’t know that is used to be different. You should put your right hand on your heart. My dad was wearing a flag shirt today.

    We wonder: Why do we put our right hands on our hearts and not our left hand? Why is it important to do it everyday?

    • Good morning, Mrs. Glover’s K-Class! Thank you for sharing all the connections you made to today’s Wonder! From saying the Pledge of Allegiance to wearing patriotic clothing, these are all different ways that we show our respect and appreciation for the United States! We are very happy you’re here today! Thank you for your SUPER comments and Wonders! See you tomorrow! :)

  6. =========================================

    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…

    =========================================

    I Wonder What’s Next???
    We Would All Look Really Funny Without Tomorrow’s Wonder Of The Day!!!

    It’s Noses Ears Or Eyes Or Mouth…HAIR!!!

    =========================================

    I Hope Tomorrow I’ll Still Have My Nose!!!

    =========================================

    • Hey Max, thanks for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with us today! We are so glad you shared your comment today, it’s always so much fun to read your awesome comments! :)

      Noses, ears, eyes, mouths, hair– oh my! You are definitely close– get your fingers and toes ready, we’ve got a lot of counting to do tomorrow! :)

  7. Thoughts:

    We do not recite the Pledge of Allegiance in our school (All). We probably don’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance because it takes up too much time each day (Alex). There could be worries about saying, “under God” in the Pledge. Maybe we could say it once a week with it being optional for students to participate.

    Predictions:
    Eyes (Alasdair)
    Mouth (Edgar)
    Nose (Khuzaima)
    Clothes! (A few!)
    Face (Alex)
    Eyebrows (Mr. Bruder)

    • Good afternoon, Wonder Friends in Mr. Bruder’s Class! We really enjoyed learning about your class today! Thanks for visiting us while we Wonder about the Pledge of Allegiance, we are glad you’ve been thinking about the different times you have said the Pledge. We think it’s great that you’ve been thinking about the beliefs of everyone in your school, too. It’s very important! Thank you for sharing your comments today, Alex and all our Wonder Friends in Mr. Bruder’s Class!

      So many awesome predictions we can barely contain our smiles! Hooray for Alasdair, Edgar, Khuzaima, Alex, and Mr. Bruder! We can’t wait to Wonder with you again tomorrow! :)

  8. Hello Wonderopolis!!

    Today’s Wonder really was patriotic! We thought the end was really funny when they keep repeating “for all.” It made our teacher laugh. We also did the pledge of allegiance like the soldiers who fight for our country.

    We think tomorrow’s wonder will be about bones, how clothes are made or eyes.

    Adios! Hasta Manana!
    Ms. G’s Class

    • Good afternoon, Wonder Amigos in Ms. G’s Class! Merci, we are so glad to read your comment today! We think it’s awesome that all of you recited the Pledge of Allegiance together to honor those who serve and protect the nation! How WONDERful! :) We’re glad to hear that you were laughing at the end of the Wonder today– it made us smile, too!

      We think you’re on the right track… get your awesome brains ready- we can’t wait to count with you mañana! :)

  9. We recite the Pledge every morning before our school day begins. We think that most people are right handed and possibly that is why we place our right hand over our heart rather than our left hand…..oh, and why do we put it over our heart?

    • Good afternoon, Mrs. Humphreys’ 4th Grade! We are happy that you shared your Pledge of Allegiance comment with us- how cool that you take a few moments every day to think of the United States! :)

      We think it’s interesting to Wonder about why we use the right hand over the left hand when pay our respects to the flag. How interesting! Thanks for helping us Wonder today! :)

  10. Hi Wonderopolis!
    We think tomorrow’s wonder will be…
    underwear!
    clothes!
    hair!
    noses!
    pants!
    eyes!
    necks!
    heads!
    We hope one of our guesses is correct!

    • WOOHOO, our Wonder Friends in Mrs. Kennedy’s Class have been super busy! A-W-E-S-O-M-E! :)

      We are looking forward to WONDERing with you tomorrow… and nearly everything you predicted has a place on tomorrow’s Wonder! :)

  11. Hi I love your wonders it amazes me. Can the next one be the Earth’s layers and where ores, diamonds, rubies and stuff are? I
    <3 wonders :D

  12. We recite the pledge every day but we didn’t know who wrote it. We think tomorrow’s wonder will be about pants, we would look very odd without pants.

    • Hi there, Emma and Hannah! Thanks for WONDERing with us today! We are glad you learned the history behind the Pledge of Allegiance, and the author, too! How neat! We like your Wonder prediction for tomorrow! We agree, we would look quite strange without our pants! :)

  13. Hello wonderopolis I’ve always wondered who wrote the pledge that is very interesting, it would be cool if you did the wonder on the first planet ever discovered besides the one we live on that would be cool. :)

  14. Dear Wonderopolis,

    Good afternoon! Today is Shakim’s 10th birthday and he wanted to share it with you! Today we learned about Francis Bellamy. We had know idea that he wrote the pledge. I tried to tell my students that I wrote the pledge but they didn’t believe me! Ha, ha, ha!

    We think tomorrow’s wonder has to do with what we would look like if we didn’t have eyebrows, eyelashes, teeth, and hands.

    • A very WONDERful 10th birthday, Shakim! Happy Birthday, Wonder Friend! :)

      Thank you for visiting us today– what a great way to spend a birthday-celebration-Thursday! We bet Francis Bellamy would wish you a happy birthday if he were around today, too! :)

      We bet Ms. Moreland is an excellent writer, but we think the Pledge of Allegiance is older than she is! Thank you for sharing what you’ve WONDERed about with us today- we cannot wait to find out what tomorrow’s Wonder is! We think your prediction is totally creative, what a great and imaginative class! HOORAY FOR YOU! :)

  15. Dear wonderopolis,
    We think the video was cool. We said the pledge with them. And we think tomorrow’s wonder of the day will be about bones or skin.

    Sincerly,
    Acsa,Fatima♥☺☺♥

    • Thanks for sharing your awesome comment today, Ms. H’s Students, Acsa and Fatima! We’re so glad you’re here, and what a cool way to participate in today’s Wonder– you recited the Pledge with the students in the video! :)

      We think you’re on to something… great predictions for tomorrow’s Wonder! :)

  16. Thought:(William) “I thought it was interesting about how many times it was changed.” (Davonta) “I thought today’s wonder was exciting because I learned who wrote the pledge.”

    Connection: (Emilee) “I saw in a movie who can and can’t say the pledge because of a gender.”

    Prediction: (Justin) Why do we all have hair? (Michael) Who was the first clown? (Alyssa) Why do we have noses?

    • William and Davonta, we are so glad you shared the cool new things you learned today- isn’t our history fun to Wonder about?

      Emilee, we are so glad that you’re opening your eyes and ears to learn about how other students live- they may attend school just like you but they lead different lives.

      Justin, Michael, and Alyssa, great guesses! We are so proud of you for thinking about today’s Wonder clue!

      Thanks so much for sharing your comments, Mrs. Coleman’s Class! We hope to see you tomorrow! :)

  17. Hi wonderopolis, at 8 o’clock every morning we do the pledge of allegiance a sixth grader will say it. What will the wonder be tomorrow? Cows, rain, goats, milk, flowers, dinosaurs? Maybe 1 will be right!

    • We’re so glad you shared your comment, Wonder Friend Thomas! Isn’t it interesting to learn how many times the Pledge of Allegiance has been changed? :)

  18. I love the Pledge of Allegiance. It makes me so happy! But I wonder who wrote it. At my swim team, we always sing that before we start to swim. We are learning that in school. Thank you for posting this video.

    • We are so excited to hear that, Wonder Friend Hamnah! Thank you for visiting us to Wonder about the Pledge of Allegiance! :)

  19. At school, we do the pledge of allegiance every day!!! I kind of like it… :) it can be fun, but sometimes it can be annoying because it gets stuck in my head! I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about eyebrows or clothes or hair! :) ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ :P

    • Thanks for telling us all about how your class pledges to the flag every day, Wonder Friend ACT! Isn’t it funny how sometimes different songs or lines get stuck in our heads?! We are so very glad you’re here today, and we think you’ll enjoy the next Wonder of the Day®! :)

    • You are so very welcome, Wonder Friend Natalie! We are glad to Wonder with you! Have a SUPER weekend, we will see you soon! :)

    • Isn’t that interesting, Wonder Friend Spencer? We are so glad you enjoyed WONDERing about this history of this very famous pledge! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance?
  • Has the Pledge of Allegiance always had the same words?
  • What does the Pledge of Allegiance mean to you?

Wonder Gallery

935Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to learn more about the Pledge of Allegiance? Check out one or more of the following activities with a friend or family member:

  • If it’s been a while since you’ve said the Pledge of Allegiance, you might need to brush up just a bit. Jump online and watch Mrs. Donovan’s kindergarten class recite the Pledge of Allegiance and follow along!
  • Jump online to explore the fun Find the Flags activity. How many flags can you locate? How many new facts did you learn about the American flag? For even more fun, check out some of the activities in Full of Pride and Courage.
  • What does the Pledge of Allegiance mean to you? What pictures does it create in your mind? What feelings does it stir in your heart? Then, grab some art supplies and let the Pledge of Allegiance inspire you to put your thoughts and feelings into a work of art. Whether you use markers, crayons, paints, or clay, make something that helps symbolize what the Pledge of Allegiance means to you. When you’re finished, post a picture of your work of art to Facebook to share with all your Wonder Friends. If you can, briefly explain why the Pledge of Allegiance inspired your particular work of art. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Still Wondering

The Design Your Own Family Flag activity from Smithsonian’s History Explorer shows children how to create their own family flag using colors and pictures that have personal meanings.

Wonder What’s Next?

We would all look really funny without tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day!

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