On This Day in History: January 29, 

1861 – Kansas admitted as the 34th state

I Pledge Allegiance . . .

You’re a grand old flag,
You’re a high-flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You’re the emblem of the land I love
The home of the free and the brave.
Every heart beats true under red, white and blue
Where there’s never a boast or brag.
But should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag!

The Pledge of Allegiance to our flag had its beginnings 132 years ago in 1887 when Captain George Thatcher Balch of the Grand Army of the Republic was teaching patriotism to school children in the New York City schools. His initial version had much to say about what true citizenship and loyalty means. It stated, “We give our heads and hearts to God and our country, one country, one language, one flag!” This version was adopted for three decades by many schools, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Grand Army of the Republic. They used it until the 1923 National Flag Conference.

The more familiar form of our Pledge had its beginnings five years later in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus Day. This version was written by Francis Bellamy and stated, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The Congressional Record of the 91st Congress (1945) records the following as Bellamy’s recollection concerning it origin: “At the beginning of the nineties patriotism and national feeling was (sic) at a low ebb. The patriotic ardor of the Civil War was an old story … The time was ripe for a reawakening of simple Americanism and the leaders in the new movement rightly felt that patriotic education should begin in the public schools.”

The Bellamy Pledge would receive minor change until 1924 when it stated, “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.” This is the pledge of my primary school years in Duncansville Elementary. This is the pledge I and my classmates recited everyday as school began.

It was Flag Day, 14 June 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the addition “… one Nation, under God,…” At the signing, he said, “From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty…. In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.”

The pledge had its birth in the lack of patriotism after the Civil War. The patriotic ardor of 11 September 2001 is now becoming an old story. After the attacks on the twin towers, flags could be seen all across this nation being flown from homes and businesses. But now on 17 June 2019 in Minnesota, the St. Louis Park City Council amended their rules of procedure to eliminate the recitation of the Pledge at the beginning of their meetings. Council Member Tim Brausen prior to the vote being taken said, “We concluded that in order to create a more welcoming environment to a diverse community we’re going to forgo saying the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting.” These Council Members should immediately resign and failing this they should be recalled.

This is the United States of America. Every citizen should be willing to pledge their allegiance. Every elected official should do the same. After all, they take an oath to defend our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. The problem is that many of our elected officials have become the very “enemies” they were elected to defend We the People from.

Some would say, including many elected officials, “But all are not citizens.” If they are NOT citizens, they are “guests or visitors” legally or illegally to our Constitutional Republic. As I lived overseas, I was never offended by the patriotism of the citizens of the nations where I was a guest or visitor. It was their country, not mine. As their guest or visitor, I respected their customs. Guests and visitors to our country should remember their status and behave appropriately.

It is past time for our elected representatives to remember that they are elected to represent We the People by We the People, citizens, and not the visitors and guests, legal and illegal, within our Constitutional Republic. If our laws benefit our guests and visitors, that is great! But our laws should NOT be enacted just to benefit guests and visitors.

This is NOT their country — This is our country and We the People take pride in pledging our allegiance to our Flag! A Flag that has been a symbol of freedom and liberty around the world as men and women in uniform have gone to insure the liberty of others as well as ourselves. A Flag that has been given to many a parent or child in gratitude for a life given in defense of liberty.

We the People truly need to look to the past if we expect to have a future. We the People need to return to the faith and patriotism of the “greatest generation” and their parents before them if we are to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

This is a great country, a great country so let’s shout it clear and loud!
Take a look in your history book and you’ll see why we should be proud!

Hats off to America, the home of the free and the brave
If this is flag waving, flag waving do you know of a better flag to wave?

This is a great country, a great country so let’s shout it clear and loud!
Take a look in your history book and you’ll see why we should be proud!

May God Bless and Save the United States of America —
Our Constitutional Republic !