Americans know the Pledge of Allegiance very well – the great majority of US states require school children to recite it every single morning. But not many of us know the true history of the Pledge of Allegiance, or that of its author, Francis Bellamy.
While it's true that the Pledge of Allegiance was created as a way to instill patriotism in American kids, it's also so much more than that. The Pledge has gone through several transformations, each of which provides a really interesting insight into the fears and desires of the United States at a particular point in history.
The Pledge of Allegiance has also stirred up controversy over the years, with its original salute (too close to the Nazi salute for comfort) and the addition of "under God." But most people aren't even aware of one of its hidden controversies – that it was written to sell flags for a magazine.