That's how it was originally written, sans equality, according to the story.
[Link] Francis Bellamy in his sermons and lectures and Edward Bellamy in his novels and articles described in detail how the middle class could create a planned economy with political, social and economic equality for all. The government would run a peace time economy similar to our present military industrial complex.(italics are mine)
The Pledge was published in the September 8th issue of The Youth's Companion, the leading family magazine and the Reader's Digest of its day. Its owner and editor, Daniel Ford, had hired Francis in 1891 as his assistant when Francis was pressured into leaving his baptist church in Boston because of his socialist sermons. As a member of his congregation, Ford had enjoyed Francis's sermons. Ford later founded the liberal and often controversial Ford Hall Forum, located in downtown Boston.
In 1892 Francis Bellamy was also a chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association. As its chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools' quadricentennial celebration for Columbus Day in 1892. He structured this public school program around a flag raising ceremony and a flag salute - his 'Pledge of Allegiance.'
His original Pledge read as follows: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' He considered placing the word, 'equality,' in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans. [ * 'to' added in October, 1892. ]
It's about a 5 minute read, and very well worth it if you've ever wondered what the deal is with the United States' Pledge of Allegiance.
The concept of allegiance itself may make a truly libertarian kinda person Pshaw the whole shebang, regardless of its intention. Personally, I kinda like the idea that I'm expected to participate as a Citizen of the geopolitical unit in which I was born and raised. It's got its Pros and Cons, but overall I feel like its my species, my friends and family and neighbors and fellows across teh planet who benefit as much as I do when we all take an interest in What Gets Done.
Tip o' the hat to mi'migo, Jack in TX.