I talk about the story of Francis Bellamy often. So, let me start with some history.
The Pledge of Allegiance was originally composed by Captain George Thatcher Balch, a Union Army Officer during the Civil War. However, the form of the pledge used today was devised by Francis Bellamy in 1892. In 1942 the pledge was formally adopted by Congress.
Bellamy began working with Daniel Sharp Ford owner of the Youth's Companion. Youth's Companion began a campaign to sell U.S. flags to public schools as a way to solicit subscriptions. Thus began the schoolhouse flag movement, which aimed to place a flag above every school in the nation. By 1892, the magazine had sold U.S. flags to approximately 26,000 schools.
Bellamy "believed in the absolute separation of church and state" and did not include the phrase "under God" in his pledge.
Bellamy's original Pledge read:
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag:
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."