One Nation, Indivisible . . .

'I pledge allegiance to my Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with equality, liberty and justice for all.'

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.

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. ]

(italics are mine)

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.


  1. Yeah, and that "under God" shit can be tossed out. Let's make that our next campaign.

    (Good luck!)

  2. Well its nice to see that some people are still paying attention to at least the spirit of the thing...

    Francis Bellamy and Thomas Paine are two of our most underrated patriots, IMO.

  3. Perhaps I'm more libertarian than liberal in this area, but I have always had issues with the whole "alliance" thing. And having children do it without truly understanding what it is they are saying, brainwashing!

    So being an atheist, I've always told my boys that if 1) they choose to say the alliance they dont' have to say the "under god" bit, and 2) they don't even have to say the alliance at all if they dont' wish. Yes they do need to stand and be respectful. But they are not required to say the words. And if they are asked about it, they can direct their teacher to talk to me.

    One day I'm going to fit neatly under one label. :)

  4. Thanks for the education on this. I have a bumper sticker that says, Liberty and Justice for ALL! ALL is in big bold, poke in the eye, colors! A lot of Supremists use it as "all of us white folk". Thanks again. I think it's good for us to educate one another on these things.

  5. (Good luck!)

    Yep. Gonna need it...

    Did you check that "Tom Paine's Tomb" post, Teh?

    Ever since I first started blogging, I've been reading atheists and libertarians goin' gaga over that otherwise ignored hero. Bellamy I had read about but not so much, and 'tis still sadly so today.

    Ang, I'm pretty sure I remember reading your approach with your kids on your blog and it was one of the things that made me keep goin' back for more. If that idea is "weird", then, well... Yah. I'm already there, eh. {-;

    And I'm thinkin' "Not likely" for either of us 'bout the "under one label" dealio.

    C'est la vie as long as we're Free!

  6. For several years as a kid, we were Jehovah's Witnesses so I had to excuse myself (with a note) from the Pledge of Allegiance because of that allegiance biz, false god, idolatry, etc., and no flag salutin' allowed, at least for the wife and kid (especially weird as we were in the Air Force). Embarrassing, but I was already one of the weirdest kids in class so no harm done, I guess.

    Now I don't mind saying it or even the hand over the heart as long as I grunt through that Undergod part.

    Undergod... a dyslexic version of Underdog? I like it!

  7. I thank Jack for his barage of emails of all natures and angles, so I pass it on. If we're gonna shout slogans about Flags and Gods and unlimited "right" of competition at one another, we might want to understand how they've evolved and where they're relevant now. At least a little.

    Pass it on Mary!

    For several years? I bet there's a real good longer story there, BlueBerry. Somethin' to do with an underdoG, no doubt.

    You know, it's really no wonder we still mess with religion. Its creative solutions really only get Bad when they get stale and irrelevant, which is admitted most places these days, except for folks who won't let go their pasts for fear of the future if they have to change.

    Bogus deal, eh. For freakin' everyone in the end.


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