Court to Decide Pledge of Allegiance Case
The Honolulu Advertiser
In an explosive ruling in June 2002, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's most liberal appellate court, declared that reciting the pledge in public schools in unconstitutional because the words "under God" amount to an endorsement of religion. The ruling spun heads from California to Washington. If upheld, the ruling would overturn 50 years of common practice in America's schools.
The Pledge of Allegiance was written by socialist editor Francis Bellamy. It was first published in 1892 in The Youth's Companion. The pledge made its debut in public schools on Oct. 12, 1892, during Columbus Day observances. The original wording was: "I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands: one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." The pledge has been changed a few times since. For Flag Day in 1924, "the flag of the United States of America" was officially adopted as a substitution for the phrase "my flag." In 1954, the words "under God" were added, after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic organization.
The court decided in October to hear the Pledge of Allegiance case this year and deliberate for a ruling.