It was a different time, it was a simpler time. In 1954, in an act including the line: "the inclusion of God in our pledge therefore would further acknowledge the dependence of our people and our Government upon the moral directions of the Creator." (Not a Creator, the Creator). The United States put forth a policy of forcing school children to declare, on a daily basis, that there, not only, exists one single monotheistic deity but that the location of said deity is generally upwards. And as they raised the flag playing "Onward Christian Soldier" they never once fathomed that their actions would be misconstrued as religious.
In other news, on the December 4th 2007, Dr. Rev. Michael Newdow finished oral arguments in the 9th circuit court for both the case against "under God" and the case against "In God We Trust". Prometheus Retold has a good couple links to his original case, including an MP3 of the arguments themselves. So the decision should be sometime in a few months and it should perhaps make the news at least the decision to knock down the "In God We Trust" on account of being new whereas the previous Elk Grove Cave already knocked down the "Under God" phrase and probably won't cause as much of an uproar... though we can always hope.