In 1954, Cold War fears of anti-religion communists led to the addition of the phrase “under God” to the pledge. Within three years, a court case asking that it be removed was introduced in New York, but the court refused. The most recent pledge-related case came before the Supreme Court in 2004, when atheist Michael A. Newdow objected to his daughter being forced to acknowledge or hear reference to God in a public school. He argued that not having to say the pledge wasn’t enough — just having to be in the room while it was recited was a violation of first amendment rights. Ultimately, Newdow lost and “under God” remains.
The story of the pledge is a part of American history that is often overlooked. Thanks to Jones and Meyer, that story is now told.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.