A federal appellate court last week upheld the inclusion of the words “one state under God” in the Texas Pledge of Allegiance, which state law requires public school children to recite daily unless excused by their parents.
The Texas pledge reads: “Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.” The legislature adopted the pledge in 1933, and then amended it in 2007 with the reference to God to mirror the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance’s reference to “one nation under God,” and to recognize the nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage.
The pledge was challenged by two sets of Texas parents as an establishment of religion.
In its unanimous ruling in the case, Croft v. Perry, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in New Orleans, wrote: “A reasonable observer would conclude that the pledge remains a patriotic exercise, intended to inculcate fidelity to the state and respect for its history and values, one of which is its religious heritage.”
A version of this article appeared in the October 20, 2010 edition of Education Week as U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Texas Pledge of Allegiance