This powerful program not only aims to increase appreciation of our rich religious heritage, but also seeks to remind Americans that we must always trust in a higher power for guidance, protection and strength. The famous words of the program’s title are, of course, taken from the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. One Nation Under God Month is observed annually during November. Exchange Clubs can implement this program in a variety of worthwhile ways, such as organizing community-wide prayer breakfasts, distributing pamphlets describing the American Flag’s history and proper flag etiquette, sponsoring One Nation Under God essay or poster contests in schools and encouraging attendance at religious services.
The One Nation Under God project was adopted on July 30, 1964, by Exchange leaders seeking to heighten awareness of our rich religious heritage. November, observed nationally as One Nation Under God Month, is a special time of year when Exchangites join together to increase public appreciation of the important roles religious faith and freedom have played in our nation’s history. This page contains a variety of simple but effective project ideas that will enable your Exchange Club to help remind all Americans of our religious freedoms. Also keep in mind that although November is One Nation Under God Month, these suggested projects can be equally effective at any time of the year.
The aims of the program are to:
Build greater respect for the Pledge of Allegiance;
Promote increased use of the Pledge in schools and at public gatherings;
Combat all efforts to remove the words “under God” from the Pledge;
Encourage and promote religious services by local churches on Thanksgiving Day or Thanksgiving eve;
Promote attendance at such services to members and nonmembers alike;
Prayerfully thank God for the blessings of liberty bestowed on America.
Host interfaith prayer breakfasts for the entire community or targeted segments of the community, such as employees of key businesses, professionals in a particular field, a local civic group or church, or geographic sectors of an urban area.
When publicizing the event, include the price per meal. Be sure the price covers the cost of the meal and gratuity, plus other costs such as an honorarium to the speaker.
Consider the size of the crowd when securing a location for the prayer breakfast. A hotel conference room or banquet hall facilities will be required for a large number of guests. For smaller crowds, seek a school gym or a church dining hall. Boy or Girl Scouts may be utilized as table helpers in return for a contribution to their troop funds.
Instruct the keynote speaker to talk about One Nation Under God, and invite a clergy member to give the invocation. Ask an Exchangite to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, preceded by a brief statement of the program’s purpose. You may want to include suitable readings, a greeting by a local government official, and music.
PRAYER BREAKFAST SUGGESTED AGENDA
Club President, chairperson of One Nation Under God committee, or other Exchangite acts as master of ceremonies.
- Inter faith invocation by clergy.
- Pledge of Allegiance led by an Exchangite who should precede it with a very brief statement of the objectives of the One Nation Under God program.
- Introduction of the head table and other distinguished guests by master of ceremonies.
- Greeting by mayor or other high ranking official.
- Principal speech — inspirational message preferably by experienced lay speaker using One Nation Under God as subject.
- Non-denominational benediction by clergy.
- Recessional music — “God Bless America” by soloist or choir.
DISTRIBUTE FLAG BROCHURES
Use Exchange’s One Nation Under God flag brochure to educate the public on the history of the American flag. The brochure explains how to handle the flag with care and display it properly. It also describes the origins of the Pledge of Allegiance and contains little known facts. This brochure may be the only education citizens young and old receive about the American flag. Distribute bundles to local schools, scout troops, church and community youth groups, retail stores, pharmacies, libraries, etc. One Nation Under God educational brochures may be purchased through the Supply Department at National Headquarters.
ESSAY, POSTER AND SPEAKING CONTESTS
Sponsor One Nation Under God essay, poster and speaking contests in local schools. Meet with school officials, explain the project’s purpose and ask them to participate. Ask the school’s teachers to help you plan and implement the project and judge the entries.
Once winners have been selected, invite them (and their teachers) to a club meeting and present them with special awards. (available through the supply department) At the meeting, the winners can display their posters, read their winning essays or present their speeches. In addition, make arrangements to have the local post office, restaurants, etc. display the children’s work. Arrange for the winners to deliver their speeches at the meetings of your city council, the local VFW chapter, and other civic organizations.
WHAT ELSE CAN EXCHANGITES DO?
Sponsor assembly programs in schools on the tradition of religious freedom in the United States. Have a historian or member of the clergy speak.
- Sponsor a student contest to prepare posters and banners for public and private display.
- Deliver speeches in schools and at the meetings of various organizations.
- Place One Nation Under God advertisements in local newspapers, tabloids and magazines.
- Ask local retailers to hand out One Nation Under God flag brochures to customers who purchase United States flags or flag poles.
- Recognize those who fly the flag with our Proudly We Hail program.
Publicize all of your efforts well in advance of the event. Sample press releases are printed in the Public Relations Resource, a free guide available from National Headquarters at (800-XCHANGE) or you can download it from this web site. Remember to always add details specific to your event, as well as a local contact person and telephone number. Press releases may be hand delivered, faxed or e-mailed to news rooms. Follow up with a phone call to ensure your release was routed to the appropriate editor or writer.