2012 45¢ Flag and "Justice"
Four Flags Coil
Issue Date: February 22, 2012
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
The 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America was approaching, and the planning committee had worked for years to organize the celebrations. Two men, James Upham and Francis Bellamy, made sure school children were involved in the festivities and created a simple pledge that has become commonplace throughout the United States.
James Upham worked for The Youth’s Companion magazine, a publication that reached children all over the country. Francis Bellamy was a teacher and chairman of the national committee of educators involved with the anniversary event. Together, they wrote the pledge to the flag and published it in the September 8, 1892 edition of the magazine.
On October 12, over 12 million school children recited the words as part of the Columbus Day activities. The pledge soon became a daily exercise at most American schools.
It was over 30 years before adults began using the words to affirm their patriotism. The 1923 National Flag Conference made it popular with adults. On June 22, 1942, Congress made the statement the official United States Pledge.
The Pledge of Allegiance has undergone numerous changes since its beginning, but still reflects the American ideals of “liberty and justice for all.”