RED SKELTON'S PLEDGE OF
As a schoolboy, one of Red Skelton's teachers explained the
words and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to his class. Skelton later wrote
down, and eventually recorded, his recollection of this lecture. It is followed
by an observation of his own.
I - - Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Pledge - - Dedicate all of my worldly goods to
give without self-pity.
Allegiance - - My love and my devotion.
To the Flag - - Our standard; Old Glory ; a
symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty
has given her a dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody's job.
United - - That means that we have all come
States - - Individual communities that have united
into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride
and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to
a common purpose, and that is love for country.
And to the Republic - - Republic--a state in which
sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern.
And 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 - - One Nation--meaning, so blessed by
Indivisible - - Incapable of being divided.
With Liberty - - Which is Freedom; the right of
power to live one's own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of
And Justice - - The principle, or qualities, of
dealing fairly with others.
For All - - For All--which means, boys and girls,
it's as much your country as it is mine.
And now, boys and girls, 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 would be eliminated from
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