What Does The Pledge of Allegiance REALLY Mean?
Without a doubt this is familiar to everyone of us, young and old alike:
I pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all.
I pledge of Allegiance to the flag of
the United States of America and to the Republic
for which it stands, one nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all.
On any given day, these days, it is nothing to read about yet another school that is “banning” the Pledge of Allegiance; a Home Owners Association (HOA) prohibiting the American Flag to be flown; or someone, somewhere, offended by our beautiful Stars and Stripes.
Although I am sure we are all very familiar with the pledge, I wonder how many people actually know what they are saying when they recite it.
This article will outline exactly what our Founding Fathers planned for the future of this great nation and exactly what the Pledge of Allegiance means to each of us.
Let’s break this down, so we can better understand what our government actually is. We will go line by line- often, word by word.
“I”- This infers ownership. A person speaking is “inferring to himself or herself” when they say “I”. It is personal.
“Pledge”- “A solemn promise or agreement to do or refrain from doing something.” The person speaking is promising or agreeing to what they are saying.
“Allegiance”– Loyalty, dedication, devotion, fidelity, honor, obedience, homage
“to”- A preposition used to express motion or direction toward a noun (person, place or thing), rather than motion or direction away from a noun (person, place or thing.)
“the flag”- A piece of cloth that can be an shape, size combination of colors and design that is customarily attached on one edge to a pole or cord. Common uses of a flag is to represent a nation, state, or organization.
“the United States of America”- An area of land which is governed as a federal republic that is mainly in North America. Fifty (50) individual states and the District of Columbia have come together as one. The nation was colonized primarily by the English and French in the 17th century. During this time, the native Indians were gradually defeated and displaced. Under the British rule there were 13 colonies that declared their independence from Britain in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the colonies. After the War of Independence the nation officially became The United States of America. During the Civil War (1861-1865) the northern states defeated the South. The United States of America is the world’s most productive industrial nation, and exports agricultural products as well. The land consists of the Rocky Mountains in the west, the Great Plains in the center, the Appalachian Mountains in the east, deserts in the southwest, and coastal lowlands and swamps in the southeast. English is the predominant language spoken; Christianity is the largest religion base; the dollar is the currency. The Capital of the nation is Washington, D.C.
“and”– in addition
“to”– A preposition used to express motion or direction toward a noun (person, place or thing), rather than motion or direction away from a noun (person, place or thing.)
“the Republic”- A form of government in which the powers of sovereignty are authorized and entrusted in the people and are executed by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whom those powers are specially appointed.
“for which it stands”– the position or opinion of someone
“One”– Single, alone, only, solitary
“Nation”– A country with its own government
“Under”– Covered by
“God”– King of kings, Lord of lords, Adonai, Divine Creator, Holy Father
“Indivisible”– Impenetrable, inseparable, joined, permanent,unbreakable, unified indissoluble
“with”– Accompanying, including
“liberty”– Freedom, independence,
“and”– In addition to
“justice”– Lawfulness, fairness, honesty, integrity
“for”– As long as [it’s]
“all”– Entire, total, complete
In breaking things down as we have, it makes perfect sense why there are many who refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. To these people I say- find another country!
Our Founding Fathers knew exactly what they were doing! They knew that it would be all too easy to become complacent with the nation we have.
Abraham Lincoln said it best:
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Sadly, we are seeing this very thing come true. If you do not PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE to this great nation, and do everything in your power to fight to protect and keep the freedoms we have been so blessed with, you are part of the destruction.
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Its a wonderful website ( ;
The “Founding Fathers” were all long dead and gone when the pledge of allegiance was written by a self proclaimed socialist.
this is awsome
What about when the government exploits our freedoms for financial gain, I think thats more destructive then refusing to repeat an outdated piece of literature that should be in a museum. I’m not saying I don’t care about the freedoms we get in this country, I just think if we pledge ourselves individualy to this nation then the so called “representatives”(by this I mean the Wealthy Conservatives) who are in charge of everything should stop filling their Swiss Bank accounts with everyones good fortune. This nation is in the pits and its not becuase of the little guy it’s corporatism and extreme consumerism that is socializing us to be marketable zombies. I don’t believe we have justice for all, I believe it’s only for the rich 1%, I believe we could do a whole lot better.
I strongly agree with anonymous these ppl are fooled with this worldly beliefs but if they dont get thete is no sense in telling them theu will fpund out in the end so dont stress about.
you are a complete idiot with access to a n online dictionary and no real opinion other than the one given to you by this country. i would explain this in further detail, that without a doubt you require because anything with any value has to be spon fed to you, but the basics are that there is no REAL point to idolizing this false symbol that means nothing. going in any further explanation would be a waste of my time
I think that it’s a waste of time breaking down the word “to”.
I do not even know the way I ended up right here, however I believed this post used to be great. I do not know who you might be but definitely you are going to a well-known blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!
I understand we needed to say the pledghe of alliegance but why everyday? Why cant it be once a month or week? Did ourfather really thought about 1 million kids from 6-up saying this pledghe over 300 times per year? When we pledghe I think that we must pledghe by the heart not by a requirement or by force.I still do pledghes but really everyday?
I hate pledghing my life to someone else.
You are not pledging your life to someone else. You are pledging your life to the United States of America. Think of all the soldiers who sacrificed their lives so you could enjoy the country you live in today. The least we all could do is to show that we honor their sacrifices and are loyal to our country.
This nation is not indivisible. The entire notion of indivisibility is anithetical to the Constitution. Secession is a fundamental right of states to withdraw from the compact that they created and agreed to if one of the parties (individual states and the federal government) breaches that contract. Quoting Lincoln is absurd in this instance, as he did more to destroy the right of freedom of association that any other president in our history.
Essentially when we pledge the flag we do not automatically promote what is disclosed in it. In simple terms, just because we pledge to a “flag” doeasn’t mean we are fullfing a man made law of obedience to a country. If we are to truely fullfil the law of this very country we are to abide by the laws that have been established, not merely recite a pledge that means nothing. Actions speak louder than words. So to those who believe not reciting the plege is a bad thing, you are fools! You have become a slave to a “man made law”! This is why jehovah’s witnesses don’t pledge as they feel they are idolizing a mere flag when it is intructed in the Bible that all worship belongs to the God Almighty. Our nation has been brain washed into a systematic way of living and few people know what they are doing when they recite the “pledge of alligience”.
When we recite the pledge of allegiance we are not reciting it to a flag or a man made law we are basically thanking God for the wonderful land he has given us because this is the new Zion and holy land.
We say the pledge in the direction of the flag, but we do not say the pledge for the flag. We say the pledge to our country. God helped our founding fathers to shape our country. So when we say the pledge we are not pledging our allegiance (loyalty) to our flag, we are pledging our allegiance to our country.
this is so not true
“Indivisible”- Impenetrable, inseparable, joined, permanent,unbreakable, unified indissoluble
Which founding father would have gone for this? Well, maybe a couple of the Federalist who also wanted the president to be more like a kingship. Lincoln wouldn’t have been all that popular with most of the Founders either.
I appreciate this explanation of the meaning of our Pledge of Allegiance. As a child in school during the sixties and early seventies, I was taught tolerance, respect, and the meaning of hard work. These three attributes, along with many others, help to build good people who know the importance of being kind, charitable, and having an understanding heart. These attributes are no longer taught in school, nor is the pledge recited in most schools to help teach the importance of a free society, and one that holds personal liberties as a standard. I currently teach a den of Cub Scouts and at the beginning of each meeting we hold a flag ceremony and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. We have studied the meaning of the pledge and the flag and the respect that is due to such a standard. Many wars have been fought where this flag was flown as a sign of hope and endurance to those around. I have had relatives who fought in the Civil War, Korean, Vietnam, and Afghanistan wars and they each wore on their uniforms this great flag. Many countries around the world, and many churches have flags that represent their beliefs and values. When individuals become a Citizen of this country, they recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I will always stand, place my hand over my heart and Pledge Allegiance to a flag that represents this great nation, and for the principles for which the colors represent: White – Purity and Courage; Red – Valor, Heartiness and Bravery; and Blue – Justice, Freedom and Perseverance. May we all never forget the many sacrifices it has taken to keep those colors flying!
Our founding fathers did not write the pledge of alliegiance. So how could they be charged knowing it meaning? But I do believe you are right about know about its meaning.Francis Bellamy (1855 – 1931), a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge in August 1892. He was a Christian Socialist. In his Pledge, he is expressing the ideas of his first cousin, Edward Bellamy, author of the American socialist utopian novels, Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897).
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. ]
Dr. Mortimer Adler, American philosopher and last living founder of the Great Books program at Saint John’s College, has analyzed these ideas in his book, The Six Great Ideas. He argues that the three great ideas of the American political tradition are ‘equality, liberty and justice for all.’ ‘Justice’ mediates between the often conflicting goals of ‘liberty’ and ‘equality.’
In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference, under the ‘leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge’s words, ‘my Flag,’ to ‘the Flag of the United States of America.’ Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored.
In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, ‘under God,’ to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.
Bellamy’s granddaughter said he also would have resented this second change. He had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of his socialist sermons. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church because he disliked the racial bigotry he found there.
What follows is Bellamy’s own account of some of the thoughts that went through his mind in August, 1892, as he picked the words of his Pledge:
It began as an intensive communing with salient points of our national history, from the Declaration of Independence onwards; with the makings of the Constitution…with the meaning of the Civil War; with the aspiration of the people…
The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the ‘republic for which it stands.’ …And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation – the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches. And its future?
Just here arose the temptation of the historic slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity.’ No, that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all…
If the Pledge’s historical pattern repeats, its words will be modified during this decade. Below are two possible changes.
Some prolife advocates recite the following slightly revised Pledge: ‘I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, born and unborn.’
A few liberals recite a slightly revised version of Bellamy’s original Pledge: ‘I pledge allegiance to my Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with equality, liberty and justice for all.’