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Re: O'er the ramparts we watch'd

>It saddens me when an athiest can have the words "UNDER GOD" removed from
>our pledge in schools, but can not keep violence out of them. I quote with
>gusto the ancient Sinclair motto, "Commit thy work to God", and crow about
>it with the cock on the seal. We who believe in a Supreme Being will
>continue to use the traditional pledge of allegiance to the star spangled
>banner, for no one can kill the warmth in our hearts. Our founding fathers
>like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and even Arthur St. Clair, no
>doubt, would roll over in their graves if they could see the direction our
>Union has taken.

Actually, the founders of the United States knew nothing about the current
pledge of allegiance.  In its original form, it was written by the Christian
socialist Francis Bellamy in 1892.


It said:
 "I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands
  -- one nation indivisible -- with liberty and justice for all."

Notice "my flag", as in one flag among many, not "the flag".

There were few flags in schools in the nineteenth century.  Bellamy's
publishers began a campaign in 1888 to sell flags in schools, and by
1892 had largely succeded.  Bellamy's pledge fit in with that sales

Why 1892?  It was the 400th anniversary of Columbus's landing in what
he never recognized as the New World.

1888 was, by the way, the same year Francis' first cousin Edward
Bellamy published his socialist utopia book Looking Backward, about how
Boston would look in the year 2000.

The original salute to the flag while reciting the pledge was the
straight-armed salute now associated with fascism.  That was changed
during World War II.  Apparently at the same time, "my flag" was changed
to "the flag of the United States of America".

The part about "under God" was added in 1954 during the McCarthy era,
by Congress and President Eisenhower, at the urging of the Knights of

For more details, see:

My point is that the founders of the United States knew nothing of a
pledge of allegiance to a flag.  That pledge was produced by a socialist
working for capitalists who wanted to sell flags, and it has been tinkered
with for political reasons multiple times since.

I'm not sure that the founders would have approved of a loyalty oath,
for that matter.

May I suggest something we know they did approve of, since they wrote it
and signed it:

``We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
  that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
  that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to
  secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their
  just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form
  of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the
  People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying
  its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form,
  as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.''


John S. Quarterman <jsq@quarterman.org>
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