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ERIC Number: EJ1043132
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
"Under God" and the Pledge of Allegiance: Examining a 1954 Sermon and Its Meaning
Groce, Eric C.; Heafner, Tina; Bellows, Elizabeth
Social Education, v77 n4 p185-191 Sep 2013
A lesson exploring the Pledge of Allegiance, its history, and the addition of the phrase "under God," can serve as a jumping off point into major themes of U.S. history and First Amendment freedoms. Although the Pledge is ubiquitous in contemporary America, educators and students are often uninformed about the history and meaning of the brief document. To thoughtfully enter the discussion of American heritage and policy, students must learn "how to do history," which involves "researching, interviewing, critical reading, winnowing fact from opinion, and coming to conclusions based on evidence." The Pledge's own "biography" is interwoven with major themes of U.S. history, such as immigration and naturalization, war and peace, and First Amendment freedoms. The two-word phrase "under God" certainly adds to the colorful history, energizing a discussion that will be continued by generations of Americans who strive to convey "who we are" and "what we believe." The article includes three handouts: (1) "Pledge of Allegiance TIMELINE"; (2) "Should the Pledge Include the Phrase "under God"?; and (3) "Pass the Flag: An Exercise in Civic Discourse."
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A