28 votes

Pro tip: The pledge of allegiance

We are asked to pledge allegiance to a flag because a flag is a symbol whose meaning is mutable. They get people to worship a flag, and then they can be told the flag stands for whatever they want, 'democracy', 'security', etc.

Some of you may refuse to pledge whatsoever on moral grounds and I certainly understand.

But some of you may not feel comfortable remaining silent, but also not feel comfortable pledging allegiance to a scrap of cloth. Liberty folk tend to be in situations where the pledge is recited more than most people and we are often trying to help others along the path. We don't want to alienate those we are trying to help, but we don't want to violate our principles.

So if you don't want to remain silent, you can pledge something like this, which is what I pledge:

I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the Republic, which it defines, 50 states, under God, divisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The best part is people may hear you, and ask you a question.

As a veteran I have no problem pledging allegiance to the Constitution, which I already took an oath to uphold. Again some of you may think pledging is immoral even to the Constitution. I understand, but if you're going to pledge, I really hope people will stop pledging to a flag. Our fallen veterans didn't die for a flag. They may have been lied to and used, but in their hearts they died for a principle, not a symbol.

A key point in this version, for me, is it reinforces that the Constitution defines the Republic. The Republic does not define the Constitution. The Constitution is not 'living'. The Supreme Court does not decide what is Constitutional or not, the Constitution does not grant this authority anywhere, it merely arrogated this authority in Marbury vs Madison. The Supreme Court is merely the government telling the government that it is ok to violate the Constitution.

You may think '50 states' is too edgy and want to use the regular 'one nation'.

You may be an atheist and not want 'under God' in there. That's fine but you're going to annoy people needlessly and if you are really an atheist then it doesn't hurt anything, it's no more harmful than saying 'one nation under Whipped Cream'. What does it matter what the states or the nation is under? You're aren't pledging to that thing, you are pledging to the Constitution.

You may not like 'divisible'. I understand, but if you are pledging allegiance to the Constitution, you are on sketchy ground saying 'indivisible'.

The Constitution does not grant the authority to invade a seceding State, quite the opposite. The Tenth Amendment makes clear no powers not made explicit are granted. This may come as a surprise, but it should not.

Freedom of association.

You may not murder your husband or wife if they want to leave you. You may not murder your child if she runs away. You may not murder your boss if he fires you. You may not murder your employer should he quit.

That is called slavery.

We may not murder millions of people, or threaten to, if they want to leave us as a state, or otherwise.

If the Union is to stand, as I wish it would, it will stand for the same reason a good marriage stands, because the couple treats each other with love and respect. However an abusive relationship is worse than no relationship.

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maybe something like...

I pledge alligience
to that guy over there
as long as nobody tells him
the less i interfere with his life
the better off he'll be
I donno what it is
but the world would be just fine without me
with or without anything else atall.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.


If they are going to reinstate the pledge in public schools, perhaps they should bring the message up to date:

I pledge allegiance to the Banks, and the Corporations in bed with them,
and to the Republicans and Democrats, one party under fraud, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for none at all.

When the desire to bring about a change in you is not there,
the demand to change the world is not there either. —U.G.Krishnamurti

DownsizeDC has a great piece on this


"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

google the history of the pledge

the pledge of allegiance script and ceremony was created by a flag marketing firm as a way to sell flags to civic organizations.

Just a marketing gimmick. Nothing more.

"In 1891, Daniel Sharp Ford, the owner of the Youth's Companion, hired Bellamy to work with Ford's nephew James B. Upham in the magazine's premium department. In 1888, the Youth's Companion had begun a campaign to sell American flags to public schools as a premium to solicit subscriptions. For Upham and Bellamy, the flag promotion was more than merely a business move; under their influence, the Youth's Companion became a fervent supporter of the schoolhouse flag movement, which aimed to place a flag above every school in the nation. By 1892, the magazine had sold American flags to approximately 26,000 schools. By this time the market was slowing for flags, but was not yet saturated.
In 1892, Upham had the idea of using the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus reaching the Americas to further bolster the schoolhouse flag movement. The magazine called for a national Columbian Public School Celebration to coincide with the World's Columbian Exposition. A flag salute was to be part of the official program for the Columbus Day celebration to be held in schools all over America."

I would also like to point out

Bellamy was a minister at the time he wrote the Pledge, yet he did not include any words about God. Why? Because nations and governments are human constructions, not godly creations, and it was important to him to keep God and politics separate.

He died before "under God" was inserted into the Pledge in the 1950's, but his daughter fought to prevent the Pledge from becoming a semi-religious creed.

Holy smokes.

Thanks for the info.... I was completely ignorant of this fact! It's just one more of many accepted "cultural norms" established so a few people could glean profits.... Figures! LOL!

What would the Founders do?

The more I focus on language

The more I focus on language for a new American pledge of allegiance, the more changes and refinements I consider. In an attempt to retain a poetic rhythm as similar to the current pledge as possible, I offer the following proposal:

"I pledge allegiance to the Constitution for the United States of America and to the republics which it defines, sovereign states, blessed by God, united as one, with liberty and justice for all."

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

who created the pledge and why?

yours is as valid as the original marketing gimmick, but how are you going to sell any flags with that one? Maybe offer Constitution replicas instead?

I am not in favor of

I am not in favor of mandatory pledges of allegiance, only voluntary ones. And I am not even sure that we should have ANY national pledge of allegiance, even if it were only a voluntary exercise. We are, or ought to be, a nation of individual, sovereign citizens, and IMHO not bound to pledge allegiance to anyone except our Creator, if we so choose. My suggestion was merely to correct and improve upon the current pledge of allegiance. As for selling flags, not interested, though I respect the flag as a symbol of love and respect for our nation and the people who comprise it. But as for selling or distributing copies of the Constitution to all US citizens and interested residents, I would strongly encourage it. Even with all its flaws, it is a good thing for citizens of a constitutional republic to be familiar with their written constitution.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

factually it was a marketing gimmick

to sell flags.
"In 1891, Daniel Sharp Ford, the owner of the Youth's Companion, hired Bellamy to work with Ford's nephew James B. Upham in the magazine's premium department. In 1888, the Youth's Companion had begun a campaign to sell American flags to public schools as a premium to solicit subscriptions..."

You have never been in a motor room.

"The more I focus on language"

yes, you REALLY wrote that.
that is a very good idea. you really should understand what the fuck you are talking about.

Yes, I REALLY wrote that... So what?

I understand what I was talking about, but I have no clue wtf you're complaining about...

Why don't you clearly state exactly wtf your problem is? See, because language is kind of important.

Have I ever been in a motor room?.... Huh?

Seriously, are you drunk?

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

For me....

....the United States of America Flag has always stood for the United States of America People. I don't associate it with government or anything else.

Great post! It is important

Great post! It is important to consider the meaning of any pledge, and I agree with all your points. Much as I love your proposed pledge and far prefer it over the current pledge, I humbly suggest a somewhat modified version, as follows:

"I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America and to the nation which it defines, 50 states, sovereign republics, united as one people, securing the freedoms given us by God, with liberty and justice for all."

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

I know that the powers

I know that the powers granted by the Constitution to the national (so-called "federal") government are considerable and have been greatly expanded and distorted by Presidents, Congress and the Courts since the beginning. I would prefer a much more limited role for the national government, akin to the limitations actually placed upon it by the Constitution. Meanwhile, my proposed "pledge", if we are to have one (and I am NOT necessarily saying that we should!) recognizes the undeniable reality of Americans being "united as one people", not simply under one central government, but rather under 50 sovereign republics, ie. states. Borrowing from Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, we pledge to "secure the blessings given us by God."

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

Thomas Jefferson - Letter

Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322.

"...On every question of "CONSTRUCTION", let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the "DEBATES"

(i.e. THE RATIFYING CONVENTIONS - See Virginia Ratifying Convention 6-16-1788: http://www.americanpatriotparty.cc/americanpatriotpartynewsl...),

and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the "probable one" in which it was passed". "

American Patriot Party.CC

RichardTaylorAPP - Chair - American Patriot Party.CC

John Locke #201, 202, 212 to 232; Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions 1798; Virginia Ratifying Convention 6-16-1788; Rights of the Colonists 1772.

Good idea - my new "Pledge"

I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the Republic, which it defines, 50 states, under God, divisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Much better than abstaining - if you're looking to engage people.

Sounds like the Pledge

How would you change this to reflect the ideals of self-ownership:

I pledge allegiance to myself as a sovereign individual, and to the principles for which I stand: all creation unified, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

When the desire to bring about a change in you is not there,
the demand to change the world is not there either. —U.G.Krishnamurti

I don't think you need to pledge allegiance to yourself

You can probably trust you won't betray you without a pledge:)

Though I have quibbles with Ayn Rand I like this oath from Atlas Shrugged:

I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

is that sort of what you are going for?

In that spirit modify that a bit to work with the cadence of the pledge.. then use the second part of yours:

So stripping the allegiance to self bit, which is redundant and (to the uninitiated) may make you sound selfish, and using some of the spirit of Rand's oath which is also a positive assertion of the NAP we get something like:

I pledge my honor, never to demand, another man live for me, and to the principles for which I stand: all creation unified, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

That flows pretty well and fits the original tone and cadence.

I would strike 'all' because it's not needed, and you're adding too many syllables to say it smoothly. And of course you could replace 'honor' with 'life' if you're feeling really edgy:)

self worship is narcissistic,

self worship is narcissistic, and helps no one. Individual sovereignty is a patriot myth. Sovereignty is held by people who are united in a State, a State of unity with a common law of customs and usages they share in common. It is this State that gives the whole body politic sovereignty over all paeple and things within the territory it occupies.

Individuals have Unalienable Rights that a State may choose to recognize and protect or not. The States of our Union do recognize them and protect them with their State Constitutions. The US Constitution does not because it was written to form and organize a Union of of Nations not a population of individuals. The 14th Amendment did that and deprived all Americans of their de jure nationalities and rightful place in the hierarchy of power and authority within the Union.

~ Engage in the war of attrition: http://pacalliance.us/redamendment/

some good points but I think

some good points but I think the fact is that most of the veterans did in fact fight for the flag, as a symbol of things like community, family, way of life, hearth and home, kith and kin, friends and family, and perhaps for some, a vague sense of specifically American political identity or verbiage. But hardly for mere abstract principles. The image of millions of young combat volunteers through history dying for some particular understanding of the constitution is comically absurd, never happened and never could happen.

I didn't fight for a flag

But don't take my word. Ask other vets: Did you fight, or were you prepared to fight, for the flag or for the Constitution or something else?

The vast majority will say the Constitution. That was our oath.

You might get a few who say both.

You might get a few that say they fought for the money, college fund, etc.

You might get a few if they are old enough to have served in VN that say they fought because they were slaves and would be shot if not.

You might get a few who say they just liked killing.

You will have to look long and far to find one who says the flag.

"Oh yeah, man if it weren't for that pretty flag I would never have fought! And if it were like ugly yellow, or had a leaf on it, never. Can you believe people fight for a leaf?! Not me man, real men fight for regular polygons. And it's a real tragedy to die for a circle, and it should be no surprise that men fighting under flags with circles lose wars. And badly. Never fight under a circle."

So what you think is comically absurd is just because you aren't knowledgeable about vets.

We swear an oath to defend the Constitution. Not to wave a flag. We are (or were) informed that following an un-Constitutional order is not an excuse and would not excuse us in a court martial.

How true that works out in reality is another issue. But this is what young servicemen are told. I do worry they are not still told this.

You seem to be confusing a

You seem to be confusing a flag as a physical object of fabric with a flag as a symbol of country and people.

You say "They may have been lied to and used, but in their hearts they died for a principle, not a symbol."

That's just patently false. Maybe you would die for a principle, but projecting that onto others would be a big mistake. The typical soldier is hardly a constitutional scholar, nor even literate most of history. People have always fought for the same reasons: young male aggression in the service of ones own (misguided or not).

There may have been small minorities in history who have fought for principles or beliefs, but in all times and places the bulk have not, nor could they.

This is naivete and wishful thinking re human nature of the most inwardly myopic sort.

I respect this one of you 3$BILL's

You use punctuation and grammar, and you can make a case.

The one that spewed 1200 words together lowercase without a paragraph or observable coherent thought, I will amuse myself by thinking you got him fired.

Even though incompetent shills help us, competent shills are much more fun.

To points. You are absolutely wrong. You are suffering from the typical technocratic mindset that the meat you send to kill and be killed doesn't think.

This is understandable. You wish to think the people you send to murder and be murdered think they do it for a piece of cloth.

It makes you feel better about yourself.

They don't though. Never one.

We, deluded as we may have been, when we killed and died, did not do so for a flag. Ever.

You, who never put yourself in harms way, thinks those who do are caricatures. Like in Hollywood.

They never think about why they would kill or why they would die.

They are morons after all.

That's what you think right?


I don't know what soldiers think about these days

I do know this: I thought every day about dying and killing

You think we are robots for your pleasure. You better hope we are not.

You're getting pretty heavy

You're getting pretty heavy with this "we" talk for someone who normally can't fathom the concept of a "group."

Anyway, your mistake is to think that because most young men have fought for real things like family, home, country, god, and not for the lifeless, abstract ideas that you have come to live off of, that this is a condemnation of them.

Quite the contrary, they are the salt of the earth. That they've often been misled is sad and those who have done the mislead deserve condemnation. But as much of an intellectual you might be, its no reason to project that onto the rest of people. People don't fight in die in large numbers for ideological commitments.

My mistake is not making an

My mistake is not making an assumption about why people fought. I do not have to make such an assumption. You are engaged in that project.

You assume people fight for a flag. I told you otherwise.

You don't know what you are talking about. I do. Unlike you I am not speaking for someone else.

You say we fought and died for a flag. I know for a fact we did not.

I never met a soul willing to die for a flag. I have met many souls willing to die for a principal.

You are insulting our fallen heroes with this crass assertion that they died for a flag. Unlike you, people faced with death tend to think things through.

You are an evil person. I have to wonder, why admit it here? What the hell do you think you will accomplish here? You will not spread your evil here without challenge, in fact when you try it just gives us opportunity to show you out.

You're still confusing a flag

You're still confusing a flag as physical object with flag as symbol of country and people, town, way of life... these non abstract realities people really do go off to fight for as 18 year olds or even younger, whether rightly or wrongly.

Very few people go fight and die for radical or ideological reasons of religion or politics, which you might imagine was your motivation for whatever it is you did or did not do.

And yes you did claim to speak for what people did or didn't fight or die for, I merely corrected you.

Good idea.

I took the oath as a young marine-to-be in November 1962. I am a member of Oath Keepers. I have retaken the oath on numerous occasions.

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

Notice that the oath is limited to the document not its interpretation by anyone other than the oath taker. I leave off the "so help me God" bit. I can't understand why believers appeal to the same "loving" god that allowed the 911 attack on us, and who routinely allows children to die in horrific ways. Loving god?? Give me a break. People believe in ghosts and demons, I should be surprised.

I have had libertarians object to reciting the pledge to a flag that they consider represents a repressive government. To me the flag represents what once was and can be again.

I am not offended by their objections. I understand them. If they burn the flag as a demonstration against the government, burning is OK by me, but if I ever see anyone defecate on it I'll lose my libertarian restraint and tear their f______g head off.

I am a Republican precinct delegate in Michigan and in the future I'll recite the constitutional pledge at our meetings, and see what responses I get. I'm known as a maverick anyway so why not reinforce it.


It only takes one to KEEP AMERICANS FREE. Know your duties & rights as a juror. Stop the unconstitutional conviction of innocents in federal custody. The Fully Informed Jury CALL 1-800-TEL-JURY www.fija.org IMMEDIATELY if not sooner. It's that important.

With respect to divisible...the White House says you are wrong


Just a sampling of the arguments are you likely to get from the low information crowd when you start running around telling people that states have the right to take back the powers they have delegated to the federal government.

In the years that followed, more than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States.