A Revised Pledge of Allegiance September 9, 2009

A Revised Pledge of Allegiance

Gotta say, I could totally get behind this version of the Pledge of Allegiance:

Doesn’t that sound so much better?!

(I love the reaction on the woman’s face…)

(Thanks to Joe for the link!)

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  • Amy G

    LOL! That’s awesome. I usually just leave out that whole “under whatever” part. “One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” sounds fine, doesn’t it?

  • Epistaxis

    Amy, then you’re saying “indivisible” at the same time everyone else is saying “under God.” Blurt it out loudly for the irony!

  • jemand

    Amy G, that’s what it was supposed to say!

  • Andy

    Wow that’s great. I love how the lady tries to ignore it after it’s over. You can’t ignore that.

  • Sesoron

    I’m almost certain I heard the girl say “I pledge of allegiance” to open it. That just goes to show that kids, when they’re sufficiently young, don’t really understand the language of the pledge well enough for it to be meaningful. Same goes for other stock texts, like the Lord’s Prayer: I’d wager that the majority of kids don’t begin to understand the language of it when it’s taught to them, but they have to memorize it by rote and recite it. Anybody can memorize and regurgitate a random string of syllables without understanding what it means — and yet our society still values that sort of thing. Most peculiar.

  • medussa

    I remember pledging that daily in elementary school, without any understanding whatsoever of what it meant.

    But the little girl was so beautifully unselfconscious about her pledge, and the teacher actually supported that by not commenting on it, even if her motivation seemed more about glossing over the “glitch”.

  • Oscar G

    I’m Mexican born and I finally got my citizenship last year. In order to get your certificate of citizenship you have to attend a ceremony and watch a video of the president welcoming you and a patriotic song chosen by him (I guess… and hope), being Bush he chose “God Bless the USA”.

    After that we listened to the Star Spangled Banner and recited the pledge of allegiance for the first time. When the under… phrase came I said “Under None” and I guess nobody seemed to care as I still have my certificate and citizenship.

    The little girl in the video reminded me of that day.

  • Demetrius Of Pharos

    Robin Williams already solved the problem, and his version teaches geography! –

    “One nation, under Canada, above Mexico.”

  • I LOVE the look on the adults face when the young one says “under nobody”….



  • gribblethemunchkin

    I’m still undecided on whether i think a nation needs a pledge at all. On the plus side, it promotes a sense of shared unity with your fellows and the view that despite your differences, you all share something. On the downside, its an outmoded concept of nationalistic behaviour.

    Personally i’ve always seen my country and simply a place where i live and not much more. I see no need to defend the actions of my nation although i would of course like to improve it as a place to live.

    I wonder if this is a European contrast to American attitudes or whether its just me. After all, we’ve had some rough times with nationalism over here, historically.

    Hmmm, may have to ponder on that.

  • Baconsbud

    I am with gribblethemunchkin on this. I don’t under stand why kids need to be saying the pledge. I know when I was a kid it was a part of the day I didn’t care for.

  • Wendy

    OMFSM I love her. Brilliant!!!

  • To me, a Brit, it seems a bizarre practice only to be found in the US, along with all those flags on the front lawn and bible-bashing politicians.

    If it were to be introduced here, I think people would just be embarrassed.
    I know I would!

  • Sve.comn

    @Chris Hughes

    To me as a Dutch it´s also weird. It makes me think of China under the communists actually.

  • I can understand someone saying that they pledge themselves to the ideals of life, liberty and justice for all, but pledge to a flag? That’s bonkers.

  • Gib

    There’s no such thing as the pledge in Australia, and I can’t understand why the USA has one. I mean, isn’t it communistic ? Wasn’t the guy who wrote it a commie ?

    Or am I thinking of something else ?

  • Chas

    I with Primenumbers, I don’t understand why we make a pledge to a flag (except that the pledge was originally a marketing gimmick to sell flags).

    What we don’t pledge to is our constitution, which presidents and new citizens have to uphold and defend in their oaths.

    That I could pledge to.

  • Sanity

    Sure, the clip is funny, but don’t forget that the girl is probably just repeating what she’s been told. I’m all with her patents on this, but it’s not as if she consciously changed it herself.

    *Disclaimer: This is just a guess.

  • Takma’rierah

    Yeah, I stopped saying the pledge as soon as I realized that by saying it I was, in theory, pledging my allegiance to causes I didn’t like (considering Bush was elected when I was ten, so he was pretty much in office for all of my politically-aware life up until now). I do recall that once someone had to temerity to say “under a deity” and quite a few people were upset.

  • Chris,
    You’re clearly a Brit LOL. It’s Bible “thumping” – Bible Bashing is what we do (poking fun at its flaws)

    When I was a good Christian kid I refused to say the pledge because pledging to a flag seemed to border on idolatry. I would have been okay pledging allegiance to the Constitution.

  • J. Allen

    As we used to say in boy scouts…

    I pledge allegiance, to Queen Fragg,
    And her mighty state of hysteria.
    And to the reporters,
    with delicious hams,
    One nation, under bob, indefensible,
    With quibbling and lettuce for all.

  • A couple of Lord’s prayer versions:

    Our beer
    Which art in bottles
    Hallowed be thy sport
    Thy will be drunk
    I will be drunk
    At home as I am in the pub
    Give us each day our daily schooners
    And forgive us our spillage
    As we forgive those who spillest against us
    And lead us not into the practice of
    poofy wine tasting
    And deliver us from Tequila
    For mine is the bitter
    The chicks and the footy
    Forever and ever



    Our father
    Who art in Springfield
    Homer be thy name
    Thy name is known
    Thy program shown
    On Sky as it is on terrestrial

    Give us this day our daily “D’Oh!”
    And forgive Bart his trespasses
    As Marge forgives thou, when thou trespass against her
    And lead us straight into Moe’s bar
    And deliver us from Flanders

    For thine is the cartoon
    The Homer, the Simpsons
    For ever and ever
    Mmm.. Duff

  • I agree, someone’s parents were behind that edit.

    One Nation. Underdog!

    but pledge to a flag? That’s bonkers.

    Someone missed the phrase “…. and to the Republic for which it stands.”

  • Sha

    Growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, I’d usually catch flak from other kids or adults for not saying the Pledge.

    Even now as an atheist, I don’t say it. I prefer to stand respectfully and practice my right to abstain.

  • Rachel

    I was always a little uncomfortable with the pledge because it seems strange to pledge myself to a country just because I was born here.

    I’m about to begin a year of service in a school as an AmeriCorps member (national service volunteer) and I’m worried that I’ll be expected to recite it. It’s frustrating that religion is so prevalent that I frequently have to out myself to my co-workers early on. When I signed up to be an AmeriCorps VISTA member last year I had to take the the oath of office which ends with “So help me God.” When I spoke the oath I refused to say “So help me God” and I also marked through that portion when I signed the oath, which was very conspicuous among the other members on our first day of work.

    I don’t mind being known as an atheist (or more commonly, “the atheist”) at my workplace, but I’d like to choose when I share that knowledge instead of being forced to stand by my convictions or submit to something I strongly disagree with.

  • Gib, the pledge was written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister. His cousin Edward Bellamy was a socialist.

    The original pledge left out any mention of a god and actually included the ideals of equality for all men…and women. A section that was cut by the magazine (Youth’s Companion) as not being ‘acceptable’.

    The pledge also went along with advertising for American flags and the original salute was the same raised arm that the Nazi’s later used.

    The original pledge:
    “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and 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.

  • llewelly

    Wasn’t the guy who wrote it a commie ?

    It was written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, and a Christian socialist. (Despite being a minister, Bellamy did not include the words “under god” – those were added in 1954, after Bellamy was dead. Baptists, in those days tended to support seperation of church and state, following the lead of Roger Williams.)

  • When a U.S. citizen joins the military, or assumes a public office, or passes the bar, they are required to swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. I’ve met many soldiers who understand very well that they are defending the Constitution and not the flag; but I’ve met other folks who seem to think the flag is some kind of a magical talisman.

  • John

    @Chris Hughes

    You’d be embarrassed by a pledge of allegiance but not “God Save the Queen” 🙂

  • ChameleonDave

    @Chris Hughes

    You’d be embarrassed by a pledge of allegiance but not “God Save the Queen” 🙂

    You deliberately miss the point. Britons and other Commonwealthers would be embarrassed and even outraged if forced to recite something like God Save the Queen at school. Few even know the words.

  • Hey You

    US Government civilian employees, upon the beginning of their employment, also take the Oath of Office: 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; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

    But the form you sign containing this oath also states (in small letters at the bottom): “Note – If the appointee objects to the form of the oath on religious grounds, certain modifications may be permitted pursuant to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Please contact your agency’s legal counsel for advice.” I would hope this can be interpreted as allowing for the elimination of the final sentence in the oath, “So help me God.”

    I agree that the Pledge of Allegiance should be revised to eliminate all religious connotations, and I also question the pledging of one’s allegiance to a “flag”, which is, strictly speaking, merely a piece of cloth with a design on it. But I would imagine that those who support pledging their allegiance to a flag do so because it is a symbol of the country itself. However, why do we need to pledge our allegiance, in the same sentence, to both the country itself (“… and to the republic for which it stands…”) AND to the symbol of the country (the flag)… isn’t that a little redundant? Is it necessary to pledge your allegiance to a symbol of the country, when you can just pledge your allegiance to the country in the first place?

    So if we really think that we really have to have one at all, here’s my preliminary draft proposal for a revision:

    “I pledge allegiance to my country, the United States of America, and support the freedoms for which it stands, with liberty and justice for all.”

    Short & sweet…!

  • Sanity wrote:

    probably just repeating what she’s been told

    Actually, no. We discussed it extensively and both kids made the choice of what to say. My son has been saying “under nobody” for two years now (including when leading the pledge previously).

    While I’ve certainly shared and even encouraged them to follow my beliefs, I have made sure I offered them the opportunity to explore differing views.

    This is, by the way, more about separation than atheism.

    (but I’m honored that my video ended up on this site!)

  • gribblethemunchkin

    On God save the queen.

    Chameleon Dave has it, its not sung very often at all, no one knows the words, its not compulsory and its even commonly changed to remove troublesome verse about crushing the rebellious Scots that perhaps isn’t quite as relevant now as it was when it was written. I do stand when its played though if everyone else does, i.e. in public ceremony.

    I can’t remember the last time i sang the national anthem. Its a bit of a dirge anyway, sadly there are no good alternatives, Elgars pomp and circumstance maybe.

  • Caroline

    Not really the point, but to me the pledge does not mean anything because they make you say it. Sort of like when they make you do community service in high school. It is not really volunteering if you must do it, it is just work. I don’t have anything against people who want to pledge, even under god, but don’t make me say it and don’t make me feel uncomfortable when I don’t say it.

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