Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

7/1/2003 - 8/31/2003

Funding Totals

$5,000.00 (approved)
$5,000.00 (awarded)

Pledging Allegiance

FAIN: FT-51152-03

Richard J. Ellis
Willamette University (Salem, OR 97301-3922)

A federal court's recent decision that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional stunned the nation and unleashed a torrent of bitter criticism. Legal scholars predicted the decision would be quickly overturned while conservatives fumed about the excesses of liberal judges. Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly support keeping "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, but the appeals to tradition made by politicians, the media, and citizens often betray scant understanding of the actual, often ironic, history of the Pledge of Allegiance. I propose to write a history of the Pledge of Allegiance that provides historical perspective on the current controversy.