Texas waited 70 years to mandate pledge

Sept. 23, 2007 at 5:47 PM

HOUSTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Texas created its first state pledge in 1933, made the pledge mandatory for schools 70 years later, and now legislators have made it religious.

The Houston Chronicle said Sunday that Texas Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, was among thousands of schoolchildren who grew up not knowing the historical pledge despite its existence for dozens of years.

"I didn't say the Texas pledge in school," Wentworth said.

"The first time I became aware of it was when I went to make speeches to Republican women's clubs and they would say the pledge to the U.S. flag and then to the Texas flag," the state senator added.

Now the Texas pledge, one of only 12 state pledges nationwide, has gotten a face-lift thanks to the efforts of two Republican legislators.

The Chronicle said that Harris County Republican legislators Sen. Dan Patrick and Rep. Debbie Riddle helped pass a law that brought religion into the mix, simply by inserting "one state under God" into the virtually unknown pledge.

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