history of the pledge
Here's an short history of the Pledge of Allegiance. Apparently it was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister and cousin utopian novelist Edward Bellamy, author of Looking Backward.
The original wording of the Pledge:
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Senators are now vying with each other to see how loudly they can declaim the ruling and voice their patriotism, etc. etc. It remeinds me of the chapter in Catch-22 when some officers in Yossarian's unit tried to outdo each other with displays of patriotism to the point where the pilots couldn't get served in the mess hall without--yes--reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
(via This Modern World)