I — Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Pledge — Dedicate all of my worldly good to give without self-pity.
Allegiance — My love and my devotion.
To the Flag — Our standard. “Old Glory”; a symbol of courage. And wherever she waves, there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts “Freedom is everybody’s job.”
of the United — That means we have all come together.
States — Individual communities that have united into 48 great states; 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided by imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that’s love of country —
And to the Republic — A Republic: a sovereign state in which power is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern; and the government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which it stands
One Nation — Meaning “so blessed by God.”
Indivisible — Incapable of being divided.
With Liberty — Which is freedom; the right of power for one to live his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.
And Justice — The principle and qualities of dealing fairly with others.
For All — For All. That means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.
Now let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:
I pledge allegiance
to the Flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic, for which it stands;
one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said, “That is a prayer” — and that be eliminated from our schools, too?
1 The phrase “Under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 — alluded to in the last paragraph above — at the request of President Eisenhower, among others. Mr. Skelton’s story refers to events that took place prior to 1954.