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The Pledge of Allegiance is a brief recited statement of commitment to the United States. First developed at the end of the 19th century, the pledge has become a common feature of classroom activity in schools across the nation, sometimes required by state law. Almost from the beginning, parents challenged the fact that their children were required to participate in the recitation of the pledge. More recently, parents thought that schools should not be using a statement that includes the words “under God.” This entry briefly summarizes the history of the pledge and the litigation that has followed it through more than a century.

Historical Background

In 1892, amidst a national desire to promote patriotism in the schools, the U.S. flag salute ceremony with the Pledge of ...

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