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Pledge of Allegiance an issue again

Oct. 28, 2010 at 8:58 PM

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag has once again become a campaign issue as the mid-term elections approach.

At a debate Tuesday in western Pennsylvania, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., asked a moderator from the League of Woman Voters to lead the audience in the pledge, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. When she seemed reluctant, members of the audience got up and recited the words.

There was a similar incident at a candidates forum organized by the League in Illinois last week. Video of that one has been aired by Fox commentator Glenn Beck.

President George H.W. Bush made the pledge an issue in 1988 in his campaign against Democrat Michael Dukakis.

The pledge was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Christian Socialist minister, for Youth's Companion and promoted by the magazine's marketing director. The pledge originally began "I pledge allegiance to my flag" which was changed in 1923 to "the flag of the United States" out of fear that immigrants could pledge allegiance to their native countries.

The words "under God" were only added in the 1950s.

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