How to Cite the Pledge of Allegiance in MLA

The Pledge of Allegiance, the oath that Americans learn to recite in childhood, was actually created by a socialist minister to commemorate Columbus Day in 1892. The Pledge of Allegiance has been modified several times since then, including the words “the Flag of the United States of America” in 1923 and adding the words, “under God” in 1954. It was then incorporated into Title 4 of the U.S. Code.

Step 1

Refer to the Pledge of Allegiance in the text with a parenthetical reference to the U.S. Code.

For example, “The Pledge of Allegiance (4 USC Sec. 4) states that ... ”

Step 2

Begin with the title number for a “works cited” list at the end of your paper. The Pledge of Allegiance is part of Title 4, so you would begin the citation with “4.”

Step 3

Add U.S. Code, abbreviated as “USC,” after the title number.

Step 4

Add the abbreviation “Sec.” for section number and the number itself, which in this case is 4.

Step 5

Add the year of the edition and mode of publication. The Pledge of Allegiance has been modified several times since 1892, so refer to the correct edition. In the current example, according to the Cornell University Law School online reference, Title 4 is current as of February 1, 2010. If this is the version you are referencing, you would write,

“4 USC Sec. 4. 2010. Print.”


When assembling your “works cited” list, alphabetize the reference as if it began with "United States Code."

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