The Pledge of Allegiance was first given national publicity in October, 1892.
Mr. Francis Bellamy of Rome, New York, and Mr. James Upham of Malden, Massachusetts both claimed they had written the Pledge. The family of each man has contended that their relative held the authorship and both families had evidence to substantiate their claims.
To determine, in the interest of historical accuracy, the actual authorship, the United States Flag Association, in 1939, appointed a committee to carefully weigh the evidence of the two contending families.
Unanimously, the committee decided in favor of Francis Bellamy, and on 18 May, 1939,the decision was accepted by the American Flag Committee.
The wording of the Pledge has been modified three times.
The last change in the Pledge of Allegiance occurred on 14 June, 1954.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved adding the words "under God." As he authorized this change he said: "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."
The Pledge of Allegiance gained heightened popularity among adults during the patriotic fervor created by World War II.
On 22 June, 1942 the United States Congress included the Pledge to the Flag in the United States Flag Code (Title 36).
In 1945 the Pledge to the Flag received its official title as: The Pledge of Allegiance.