Monday, May 18, 2009

Change the Pledge of Allegiance

I am not much on symbolism, much less "pledges of allegiance" (oaths are a different story).

The fact that we formally have an allegiance pledge to a "flag" (much less any inanimate object) is absurd, a vestige of 'flag-waving' purism lingering from a more simplistic antiquity.

But if we're going to have it in this nation, repeated by millions - drone-like, I would propose the Pledge of Allegiance be changed to :

I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America

And to the Republic by which it stands

One nation indivisible in liberty and justice for all.

ADDENDUM : Commenter Miko got me thinking. Here is a possible alternative :

I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America

And to the freedoms for which it stands

One Republic, indivisible in liberty and justice for all.


Anonymous said...

hey and it's shorter too :)

Miko said...

I'd shorten it even further: "Liberty and justice for all."

"One nation" is troublesome as it's an attack on the idea of multi-jurisdictionalism. "Indivisible" is an attack on the right of secession. Pledging allegiance to the Republic is a bad idea, since the Republic may not always live up to Constitutional principles and its important to know where your true loyalty lies. And pledging allegiance to the Constitution suffers the same problem as pledging to the flag: it's also an inanimate object. My version also has the benefit of no longer being a loyalty oath.

But I suppose we need gradualism in practice, so trimming it down one or two words at a time is a fair strategy. ;-)

Tyler Nixon said...

Good points, Miko, all of which I thought about believe it or not, especially about "to the Republic", without turning the phrase around, as in "to the Republic which stands for it"...

But we're talking pledges here and I figure it'd be wonderful just to include the Constitution at all, if leaving in some superfluous or dubious verbiage.

One mountain at a time is definitely the strategy here...

Steven H. Newton said...

I like the second version better, I think.

The specificity of Republic is important....

Unknown said...

I like it Tyler. And Miko's suggestion is a good one.

Hifi said...

Even conservatives should be opposed to the Pledge on principle as contrary to the principles of a Federated Republic. When first introduced by the national socialist, Edward Bellamy, conservatives viewed the Pledge with great suspicion. Why? Because of the then foreign concept of pledging allegiance to “one nation”.

To Americans of the late 19th century, “allegiance” was a feudal concept denoting subservience to a master. Americans considered themselves sovereigns, not subjects. They feared that the natural supremacy of the individual over his government, as reflected by the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed in the constitutions of the United States and of the several states, might eventually be overturned by the ideas expressed in the Pledge.

They, unlike so many Americans today, understood that those who exercise the instruments of government — public servants — feel more comfortable ruling than serving.

More on the Pledge at:
More at:

Anonymous said...

The Pledge was written by a socialist and it was the origin of the stiff-arm salute adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party. see the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry (author of "Pledge of Allegiance Secrets").

Tyler Nixon said...

Thanks for the comments. We have a flag, it is not going anywhere.

We have had, at least in the last century or so, this pledge and it is taught to and recited by children.

Much as I said I have no use for pledges or symbolism, the pledge exists and is still widely recited, and is not likely going away.

My goal is to see it (and a change to it) bring attention and homage to our constitution, our constitutional republic, and the freedoms they represent...rather than "God" and "flag".

David said...

I am sure that you are shocked that I disagree with you. I posted my reasons at DP.