There are literally thousands of sources of information for the story of the Pledge of Allegiance, and hundreds were accessed to write this history. The bibliography below includes both published and unpublished resources, ranging from broad histories of nineteenth- and twentieth-century America to intricate stories of the Bellamy family and the Youth’s Companion. To do a proper accounting of the Pledge as it was lived and debated over the last 120 years, we need to know something about the Civil War and its aftermath, about the debate over public schools, the meaning of the Gilded Age, and the arguments about socialism, as well as what Henry Luce, founder of Time magazine, called “the American century,” the one just passed, and the central role of the Pledge in our evolving understanding of the First Amendment and the group that proved to be one of its great defenders. The fact that President Dwight Eisenhower was raised a Jehovah’s Witness, the religious sect that fought against the mandatory recitation of the Pledge for several decades, and signed into law the most controversial rephrasing of the Pledge, is just one of the more fascinating parts of this history. And then there was 9/11.

The references below were all used in the writing of this book and provide a deep background for our story. They should be included in our acknowledgments since they provide a rich and profound record of fact and opinion about the Pledge of Allegiance and what it means to “the Republic for which it stands.” The reader may dip into any of them to be both enlightened and entertained.

Adams, Gridley. So Proudly We Hail. United States Flag Foundation, 1953.

American Press Association. “Columbus Day Page, No. 3,” A full page (11x20), no date. Includes the “Address for Columbus Day” by “the Youth’s Companion,” “The Official Programme,” the “Ode for Columbus Day” by Edna Dean Proctor, and “The President’s Proclamation.” Francis Julius Bellamy Papers (see Bellamy, Francis Julius, p.191).

Baer, John W. The Pledge of Allegiance: A Centennial History, 1892–1992. Annapolis, Md.: Free State Press, Inc., 1992. Partial availability online at Downloaded January 2010. The book is cited in footnote number one in the written U.S. Supreme Court decision of Elk Grove School District v. Michael Newdow, June 14, 2004, available at Downloaded January 2010.

———. The Pledge of Allegiance: A Revised History and Analysis, 1892–2007. Annapolis, Md.: Free State Press, Inc. Partial availability online at Downloaded January 2010.

———. The Pledge of Allegiance: A Short History. Available at Downloaded January 2010.

Bailey, Diana L. American Treasure: The Enduring Spirit of the DAR. Marceline, Mo.: Walsworth Publishing Company, 2007.

Balch, George T. Methods of Teaching Patriotism in the Public Schools. New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1890.

Bellamy, David. David Bellamy Papers. Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. Date Range: 1890–1980. 3 boxes. The David Bellamy Papers are primarily concerned with the controversy surrounding the authorship of the Pledge. Ref. Downloaded January 2010.

Bellamy, Edward. Looking Backward. Boston: Picknar, 1888; reprint, New York: New American Library, Signet Classic, 1960.

Bellamy, Francis Julius. Francis Julius Bellamy Papers [FJBP]. Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. Date Range: 1890–2002. 6 boxes, 1 package. This collection is closely related to collection D.147, Bellamy (David) Papers, 1892–1980. Ref. Downloaded January 2010. An index to the collection contents is available online.

———. Affidavit. State of New York, County of New York. August 13, 1923. Exhibit A is 11 pages, includes copy of “leaflet,” “The Youth’s Companion Flag Pledge.”

———. Affidavit. State of New York, County of New York. August 30, 1923. 9 pages. Includes exhibits: letter from Francis Bellamy to C. E. Kelsey of the Youth’s Companion, June 21, 1923 (3 pages); “second letter” from Perry Mason to Francis Bellamy, August 1, 1923 (1 page); “second letter” from Bellamy to “Mr. Kelsey,” June 30, 1923 (2 pages); reply of Perry Mason company to Francis Bellamy, July 9, 1923 (1 page); “third letter” from Bellamy to “Mr. Kelsey,” dated July 23, 1923 (7 pages); Bellamy was living, at the time, at 244 Central Park West, New York, N.Y.

———. Affidavit. State of New York, County of New York. September 1, 1923. Includes exhibits: letter from Harold Roberts, dated March 15, 1923; “To Whom It May Concern” letter from Mrs. Lue Stuart Wadsworth, dated April 28, 1923; letter from Mrs. Lue Stuart Wadsworth, dated July 8, 1923; letter from Mrs. Florence Buckllin Scott, wife of John Winfield Scott, July 15, 1923.

———. “The Address for Columbus Day: The Meaning of the Four Centuries.” A two-page printed sheet, “Supplement to Official Program,” with “By Francis Bellamy” written by hand. Includes “The Address for Primary Schools (Simplified from the preceding.)” FJBP.

———. No title. No date. Five-page typescript summary of the National Public School Celebration. Handwritten initial at the end, “FB.”

———. “State Supts. of Schools.” A one-page typescript listing of the forty-nine state superintendents. No attribution.

———. “Dear Mr. Ford,” April 18, 1892. Six-page typescript written letter to Daniel Ford, on letterhead of the National Columbian Public School Celebration. Bellamy asks permission to interview the “leading men in Washington.”

———. Letter to the Honorable Sheldon Jackson, Washington, D.C., from the National Columbian Public School Celebration of October 12, 1892, Chairman’s Office, The Youth’s Companion Building, April 12, 1892. Signed by Francis Bellamy. A handwritten note at the top of the page says “Copy of letter to State Supts.” At the top, in small print, is a quote: “Not only to interest the youth of the Country in the World’s Columbian Exposition, but also to give to the American Public School a fitting prominence as the fruit of four centuries of American Life.” Also, see letter to T. B. Stockwell (April 29, 1892), almost four pages long, beginning, “I wrote you on April 12th . . ., but I have not received your answer yet.”

———. “To the Editor of The Inter Ocean, Chicago, Ill.,” from the National Columbian Public School Celebration of October 12, 1892, Chairman’s Office, The Youth’s Companion Building, April 13, 1892. Handwritten note at the top of the page says, “Letter to the Metropolitan Press.” Attached is a one-page “Statement to Editors,” also signed by Bellamy, and a copy of “Message to the Public Schools of America.”

———. “To the Editor of the American Teacher, Boston, Mass.” from the National Columbian Public School Celebration of October 12, 1892, Chairman’s Office, The Youth’s Companion Building, April 20, 1892, signed by Francis Bellamy “for the Executive Committee.” A handwritten note at the top of the page says “Copy of Personal letter to educational press.”

Blumenthal, Sidney. Pledging Allegiance: The Last Campaign of the Cold War. New York: Harper Collins, 1990.

Boime, Albert. The Unveiling of the National Icons: A Plea for Patriotic Iconoclasm in a Nationalist Era. Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Boston Herald. “What Is Being Done: For Thirteen Millions. A Columbian Celebration for the Public Schools.” March 31, 1892. A one-page facsimile, with the following introduction: “This perhaps can best be told in the story of the following Interview, recently held with the Chairman of the Executive Committee at the Instance of the Boston Herald. The Chairman, therefore, begs to be allowed to present the story in this form to the Honorable State Superintendents of Public Instruction.” Interview with Francis Bellamy. FJBP.

Brandt, Nat. “To the Flag,” American Heritage: The Magazine of History, June 1971.

Brinkley, Douglas, and Julie M. Fenster. Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism. New York: William Morrow Publishers, 2006.

Coopersmith, Jerome. “The Curious Case of the Unsigned Pledge,” Family Circle, July 1970. This is the story of Margarette S. Miller, “a young girl [who] unraveled this famous American mystery.”

Coulter, Ann. Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism. New York: Crown Forum, 2003.

Curtis, Michael Kent, ed. The Constitution and the Flag. New York: Garland, 1993.

Dewey, John. Democracy and Education. New York: Free Press, 1916.

Dombrowski, James. The Early Days of Christian Socialism in America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1936.

Dreier, Peter, and Dick Flacks. “Patriotism’s Secret History,” The Nation, June 3, 2002.

Duncan, D. E. Calendar: Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year. New York: Harper Perennial, 1999.

Eisler, Kim Isaac. A Justice for All. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.

Ellis, Richard J. To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegiance. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005.

Finn, Chester E., Jr. “Teaching Patriotism: An Educational Resource for America.” National Review Online, December 6, 2001. Available at Downloaded January 2010.

———. “Patriotism Revisited.” Center for Education Reform, October 1, 2001. Available at Downloaded January 2010.

Forelle, Charles. “Time and Again, the Calendar Comes Up Short.” Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2009. The calendar controversy continues.

Foster, Wallace. A Patriotic Primer for the Little Citizen, rev. and enl. Indianapolis: Levey Bros., 1898.

Frates, Chris. “High School Junior Suspended After Posting Anti-War Fliers.” Denver Post, February 28, 2003.

Goldman, Emma. “Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty.” In Anarchism and Other Essays. New York: Dover Books, 1969. Available at Downloaded January 2010.

Grand Army of the Republic. Journal of the Thirty-Ninth National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic. Denver, Colorado, September 7 and 8, 1905. Boston: Griffith-Stillings Press. Available at,+Allan+Bakewell,&source=bl&



. Downloaded January 2010. Reference here to flag etiquette by Allan Blakewell.

Guenter, Scot. The American Flag, 1777–1924. Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1990.

Harris, Louise. The Flag Over the School House. C.A. Stephens Collection, Brown University, Providence, R.I., 1971. Harris’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in the story of the Pledge because she reproduces dozens of original documents, including articles from Youth’s Companion, whose records were destroyed.

Hentoff, Nat. “The Patriotism Enforcers: Miseducating the Young on Freedom.” Village Voice, January 2–8, 2002.

Hirsch, E. D., Jr. The Making of Americans: Democracy and Our Schools. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2008.

———. The Schools We Need: And Why We Don’t Have Them. New York: Random House, 1996; reprinted New York: Anchor Books, 1999.

Holzer, Harold, ed. The Lincoln Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Legacy from 1860 to Now. New York: The Library of America, 1989.

Hunter, Ann Arnold. A Century of Service: The Story of the DAR. Washington, D.C.: National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 1991.

Jones, Jeffrey Owen. “The Pledge’s Creator.” Smithsonian, November 2003.

Kahn, E. J., Jr. “Three Cheers for the Blue, White, and Red.” The New Yorker, July 5, 1952.

Kaufman, Christopher. Faith and Fraternalism. New York: Harper and Row, 1982. The story of the Knights of Columbus.

Kaufmann, Bill. “The Bellamy Boys Pledge Allegiance.” American Enterprise, October 1, 2002.

Kelly, Augustus H., and Emma Bates Harvey. The Simmons Reading Books: Book Eight. New York: Parker P. Simmons Co., Inc., 1914, 1917. This was a standard eighth-grade reading book used in schools at the beginning of the twentieth century. It is a collection of dozens of popular songs, poems, and essays.

Kovach, Bill. “Journalism and Patriotism.” Talk given to the annual meeting of the Organization of News Ombudsmen, April 30, 2002. Available at Downloaded January 2010.

Kubal, Timothy. Cultural Movements and Collective Memory: Christopher Columbus and the Rewriting of the National Origin Myth. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Lapkoff, Shelley. The Amazing History of the Pledge. Available at Downloaded January 2010. Lapkoff provides information on William Howell and Navesink.

Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America. New York: Crown, 2003.

Leepson, Marc. Flag: An American Biography. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2005.

Lerner, Michael. The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right. San Francisco: Harper, 2006.

Leuchtenburg, William E. The Supreme Court Reborn: The Constitutional Revolution in the Age of Roosevelt. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Lipow, Arthur. Authoritarian Socialism in America: Edward Bellamy and the Nationalist Movement. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982.

Manwaring, David R. Render Unto Caesar: The Flag-Salute Controversy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.

Martin, Bill, and Michael Sampson. I Pledge Allegiance. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2002. A children’s book.

McCain, Senator John. “Why the Pledge of Allegiance.” Center for Education Reform. October 1, 2001. Available at Downloaded January 2010.

McConnell, Stuart. Glorious Contentment: The Grand Army of the Republic, 1865–1900. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992.

McPherson, James M., ed. “To the Best of My Ability: The American Presidents.” London: DK Publishing, Inc., 2000; revised U.S. Edition, New York: DK Publishing, 2004.

Melrose, Massachusetts, “Notable Historic Houses.” Phineas Upham House. Address: 255 Upham Street. Year built: 1703. “Interesting Facts: One of the members of the Upham family (James B. Upham) wrote the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag in 1888. Also, the Phineas Upham House is listed on the National Historic Register. Available at House. Downloaded January 2010.

Meyer, Adolphe E. An Educational History of the American People. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1957.

Meyer, Peter. “Mission Impossible: Can Catholic Schools Be Saved?” Education Next, Spring 2007.

Miller, Margarette S. Twenty-Three Words. Portsmouth, Va.: Printcraft Press, 1976.

Morgan, Arthur E. Edward Bellamy. New York: Columbia University Press, 1944.

Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, 1850–1865. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1938.

Moyer, G. “The Gregorian Calendar.” Scientific American, May 1982.

Nasaw, David. Schooled to Order: A Social History of Public Schooling in the United States. New York, Oxford University Press, 1979; Oxford University Press paperback, 1981.

National Columbian Public School Celebration, Executive Committee. “Department of Superintendence.” FJBP. A one-page memo, “Suggestions for Campaign.” No date. Executive Committee: Francis Bellamy, chairman, representing the Youth’s Companion,Boston, Mass.; John W. Dickinson, secretary of Massachusetts Board of Education; Thomas B. Stockwell, commissioner of public schools of Rhode Island; W. R. Garrett, superintendent of public instruction of Tennessee; W. C. Hewitt, superintendent of Michigan educational exhibit at World’s Fair.

———. “Message to the Public Schools of America,” a printed page “first published March 31” and carrying the advisory, “This should be Printed in every Newspaper in the State.” FJBP.

———. “Official Program, The National School Celebration of Columbus Day, October 21, 1892,” 3 pages, no date. FJBP.

“Khrushchev Tirade Again Irks Envoys.” New York Times. November 19, 1956.

“A Columbian Public School Celebration.” New York Tribune. February 18, 1892. From one-page “Extract.” FJBP. Includes “the full text of the Resolutions presented by Dr. W. T. Harris, U.S. Commissioner of Education.”

Nussbaum, M., and J. Cohen. For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism. Cambridge, Mass.: Beacon Press, 1996.

O’Leary, Cecilia Elizabeth. To Die For: The Paradox of American Patriotism. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Paul, Marilyn H. “I Pledge Allegiance . . .” Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives, Winter 1992.

Penton, James M. Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah’s Witnesses. 2nd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997. First published in 1985.

Peters, Shawn Francis. Judging Jehovah’s Witnesses: Religious Persecution and the Dawn of the Rights Revolution. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000.

Piscatelli, Jennifer. “Pledge of Allegiance.” Education Commission of the States, 2003. Available at

Ravitch, Diane. Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.

———. “Teaching History in a Time of Terror.” Center for Education Reform, October 1, 2001. Available at Downloaded January 2010.

Rubel, David, ed. The Bedside Baccalaureate: A Handy Dandy Daily Cerebral Primer to Fill in the Gaps, Refresh Your Knowledge & Impress Yourself & Other Intellectuals. New York: Sterling, 2008.

Salamida, Steven. “Spirit of Pledge Shines on Bellamy Day,” Rome (New York) Daily Sentinel, September 8, 1992.

Schlesinger, Arthur M. The Politics of Upheaval: The Age of Roosevelt, 1935–1936. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1960; New York: Mariner, 2003.

School Journal, The. “Who Originated Columbus School Day?” November 12, 1892. Page 436. The story is “signed” as by “Patriotism,” and there is a 4-page typescript version of same story, with handwritten corrections. FJBP.

Sica, Morris G. “The School Flag Movement: Origin and Influence.” Social Education, October 1990.

Strayer, Martha. The D.A.R.: An Informal History. Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1958.

Swanson, June. I Pledge Allegiance. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 2002. This is a children’s book. Pictures by Rick Hanson.

Time magazine. “Heroes: Upham Furled.” May 29, 1939.

———. “We Will Bury You!” November 26, 1956.

Valeri, Mark. Law and Providence in Joseph Bellamy’s New England: The Origins of the New Divinity in Revolutionary America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Wellner, Alison Stein, “The Perils of Patriotism.” American Demographics, September 2002.

West, Cornel. Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism. New York: Penguin, 2004.

Westheimer, Joel. Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America’s Schools. Foreword by Howard Zinn. Teaching for Social Justice Series. New York: Teachers College Press, 2007. Contributions in this book are from some of the nation’s leading thinkers about education, including Diane Ravitch (“Celebrating America”), Charles Payne (“No Black in the Union Jack: The Ambivalent Patriotism of Black Americans”), Pedro Noguera and Robby Cohen (“Educators in the War on Terrorism”), Deborah Meier (“On Patriotism and the Yankees: Lessons Learned from Being a Fan”), Bill Bigelow (“Patriotism Makes Kids Stupid”), William Ayers (“Hearts and Minds: Military Recruitment and the High School Battlefield”), Chester Finn, Jr. (“Teaching Patriotism—with Conviction”), and Studs Terkel (“A Small Space of Sanity”).

White, Edward G. The Constitution and the New Deal. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press: 2000.

Youth’s Companion. “American Department: Preliminary Expense to April 1.” A one-page accounting sheet summarizing expenses and receipts, including “Net Profits on 1908 Flags.” No date. FJBP

———. “The Youth’s Companion Flag Pledge,” leaflet, 3 pages, no date. “Copies of this leaflet may be had by addressing The Department Editor, The Youth’s Companion, Boston, Mass.” FJBP.

———. “Preliminary Reading for Columbus Day,” one-page printed, with illustrations, newspaper style. The National Public School Celebration of Columbus Day, October 21. Stories include “The Map Columbus Used,” “The Ships of Columbus,” and “Portraits of Columbus.” Also includes “The Public School Map,” a state-by-state breakdown of the number of public schools and number of students. FJBP.

———. Issues of Youth’s Companion from 1831. Available at

Zeiger, Susan, “The Schoolhouse vs. the Armory: U.S. Teachers and the Campaign Against Militarism in the Schools, 1914–1918.” Journal of Women’s History, Summer 2003.

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