- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Sametilon Publishing Co. (May 31, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0979830109
- ISBN-13: 978-0979830105
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.2 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,282,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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America's Story: A Pictorial History of the Pledge of Allegiance Paperback – May 31, 2007
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Everyone who has ever recited the Pledge of Allegience needs to read this book in order to really understand and appreciate this amazingly brief yet powerful statement. Thank you, Tricia, for providing such a fascinating insight into the origins and the importance of these words that have welcomed and unified generations of Americans. -- Jan Bloom, Author, Who Should We Then Read?
It is great and it should be everywhere! -- Paul Ott Carruth, Entertainer / Radio Personality
This book will mark the beginning of a generation that will no longer take the Pledge ... for granted. -- Becky, Mom of four
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
How It Began - Chapter One - Page One
In 1888, no one in America had ever seen a movie or a skyscraper. No one had ever ridden a Ferris Wheel or tasted a chocolate bar. There were thirty-eight states in the United States, Grover Cleveland was president and the Statue of Liberty was two years old. The zipper had not yet been invented. Neither had basketball, Band-Aids or corn flakes.
In 1888, no one had ever heard a commercial, a siren, a lawn mower ... or the Pledge of Allegiance.
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The book serves to educate the reader about why the Pledge of Allegiance was created and how the wording arrived to be what we know it today. There were several events leading up to the creation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the bulk of the book focuses on those events.
Raymond explains that The Pledge began with flags and how, when and where they were displayed. The fact is that in the 1880s flags only were flown in some government buildings. Back then, schools didn't even have flags in them (one flag let alone one in each classroom). The movement to have one flag in every school was started not by the government or the people but by a company that manufactured and sold the flags!
Next we learn how the flag manufacturer came up with the idea to have Columbus Day and how that became a national holiday. We learned of the old way that people would salute the flag (with certain arm movements and words spoken). Then that a Pledge was written and was used on the first Columbus Day. Lastly we learn that many years later the phrase "Under God" was added along with the passing of a Federal law about how the flag should be cared for and displayed as well as saluted. We also learn that another intention of the Pledge was to add patriotism and American pride to the new immigrant students, and that it was to make a clear statement that our country is not a communist state.
With the controversy in recent years with the suggestion to remove the phrase "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, I, along with many other Americans, realized our ignorance regarding why that phrase is even in the Pledge. The other suggestion that public schooled children stop saying the Pledge in their classrooms daily also offended some Americans. This book tells the interesting history of the display of the American flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, the phrase "Under God", Columbus Day, and why there are rules regarding the care and displaying of the American flag. Knowing this history enlightens us and helps us when we ponder if the Pledge should be edited or if public school children should continue to pledge to the American flag daily.
The history is comprehensive and loaded with details. As the subtitle states, there are many pictures in the book, of the people involved and the original ads that the flag company ran to promote the display of the flags. Old photographs of school children saluting the flag and of some of the huge Columbus Day parades add interest and meaning to the story. Both my children and I enjoyed these details. The fact that a lot of research was done in order to write this book is evident.
I was disappointed that a facsimile of an 1896 poem about the flag is poor quality and cannot be read (and that it is not reprinted elsewhere in the book). At some parts the story gets bogged down in tedious details and that perhaps some of that could have been condensed. In those parts, my children got bored. Lastly I feel the title and the main title don't necessarily summarize the content well. I would think that Columbus Day and flag display should be in the subtitle.
The book serves a need and contains so much information and images that it educates adults as well as children. The fact that the general population does not know this information is actually quite sad. The writing is not `dumbed down' or patronizing and so it is fine for adults to read, too.
I would recommend this be read by every middle school aged child as part of their US History education. Any high school aged student or adult who doesn't know the history of why flags are displayed in schools, how and why Columbus Day began and the origin of the Pledge of Allegiance (and all the wording) should read this book!
Lisa V. Hecht