Poll: 61% of Americans Believe School Children Should Recite Pledge of Allegiance

WARMINSTER, PA - MARCH 24: Fourth graders at Longstreth Elementary School pledge allegiance to the flag March 24, 2004 in Warminster, Pennsylvania. An atheist parent, Michael Newdow, of Sacramento, California is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court today to defend his position that the "Under God" in the …
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

A majority of Americans believe that the Pledge of Allegiance should be recited in school classrooms, but the number who support it is down from the 77 percent who felt that way in 2008, with 61 percent in favor today, a Rasmussen Reports poll shows.

Twenty-eight percent oppose children saying the Pledge of Allegiance every school day, and 11 percent were undecided in the poll of 1,000 Americans aked on July 17-18 online and by telephone.

The margin of sampling error in the poll is plus or minus three percentage points.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy, according to an Independence Hall Association website. It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892.

It originally said, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1923, the words “flag of the United States of America” were added. The revised pledge read: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower asked Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge said today: ”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.”

Section 4 of the United States Flag Code states that 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.”

According to the American Legion website: “The Flag Code specifies that any future changes to the pledge would have to be with the consent of the president.”

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