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The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of allegiance to the Flag of the United States and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Colonel George Balch in 1887,<ref name=":0">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> later revised by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The official name of The Pledge of Allegiance was adopted in 1945. The last change in language came on Flag Day 1954 when the words "under God" were added.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Congressional sessions open with the recital of the Pledge, as do many government meetings at local levels, and meetings held by many private organizations. It is also commonly recited in school at the beginning of every school day, although the Supreme Court has ruled in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that students cannot be compelled to recite the Pledge, nor can they be punished for not doing so.

According to the United States Flag Code, the current Pledge of Allegiance reads:<ref name="Pledge" />

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.

According to the Flag Code, the Pledge "should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform, men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute."<ref name="Pledge">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

A number of states, including Ohio and Texas, have adopted state flag pledges of allegiance to be recited after the national pledge.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Pledge of Allegiance sections
Intro   Origins    Changes    Salute    Controversy    See also    References    Further reading    External links   

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