"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."

The "Pledge of Allegiance" was written by Francis Bellamy and was first published in 1892. The words "under God" were added on June 14, 1954. When pledging allegiance to the flag, stand at attention and place your right hand over your heart or, if in uniform, give the military salute. Men who are not in uniform should remove their hats.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress chose a national flag to have thirteen stripes, red and white, thirteen white stars on a field of blue to represent the new country, the United States.

Today, the flag of the United States has 50 stars, each one a symbol for one state. The thirteen red and white stripes represent the thirteen original colonies and the colors are always said in this order: red, white and blue. There is even a song called "Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue".

There is a famous story about a woman named Betsy Ross. The story says that General George Washington asked her to sew the first flag. This is probably not a true story, but people like to believe it. Betsy Ross was a real woman who lived in Philadelphia. She was a widow who did sewing for George Washington. She also made flags for the Pennsylvania Navy.

In the first year of the United States as a new country, there was no official flag, so there were several designs. This is one of the best known flags of that time.

The stars on the first flag represented Delaware (say: DELL uh ware), Pennsylvania (PEN sul VANE ee uh), New Jersey (noo JER zee), Georgia (GEORGE uh), Connecticut (kuh NET ee cut), Massachusetts (mass uh CHEW suts), Maryland (Mare uh lund), South Carolina (South care uh LINE uh), New Hampshire (Noo HAMP shur), Virginia (vir GIN yuh), New York (noo YORK), North Carolina (north care uh LINE uh), and Rhode Island (road EYE lund).

The Continental Congress defined the meaning of the colors of the flag as follows:

The flag is sometimes referred to as "The Star Spangled Banner", "The Stars and Stripes", "The Red, White and Blue", and "Old Glory".


Back to Citizenship Menu.