The Pledge of Allegiance Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means

The Pledge of Allegiance Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means

If you grew up going to public schools in the United States, then you have recited the Pledge of Allegiance countless times and could probably utter all the words in your sleep.  But, have you ever asked yourself why?  Do you know who wrote the pledge?  Do you know the motives behind the author?  Did you know the pledge has been revised over the years?  Fear not, liberty activist Kenny Lovett, who you may remember for being arrested while filming the police, has broken down everything you need to know on his Facebook page in the form of a video.

Lovett starts his video by warning his audience that they have been conditioned by the Pledge of Allegiance, for which he also admits to being a victim.  He adds,

The pledge doesn’t mean what you think it means

He continues to introduce the pledges author, Francis Bellamy, a Christian Socialist minister and author who, not surprisingly, was a big proponent of socializing education.  Bellamy championed ‘the rights of working people and the equal distribution of economic resources, which he believed was inherent in the teachings of Jesus.  In other words, he believed in the violence of the state in which productive members of society would have their wealth forcefully extracted from them in order to pay for those members of society who failed to produce.  Ironically, Bellamy was relieved of his ministerial duties in 1891 and was forced to leave the church for his socialist themed sermons and eventually left the religion all together.  That very same year, Bellamy was hired by Daniel Sharp Ford, who owned a popular childrens magazine, Youth’s Companion.

The Boston based magazine, who marketed their subscriptions to public schools, were selling American Flags as a marketing campaign as a means to bolster their premium subscriptions.  Youth’s Companion was, not surprisingly, a huge supporter of the school house flag movement which aimed to put a flag in every classroom in the nation.  By 1892, the magazine had sold over 26,000 flags to public schools.  However the sales of the flags eventually slowed down and the magazine needed a way to energize the campaign.  So, the Pledge of Allegiance was born.

Bellamy wrote the original pledge in August of 1892 and it was published in the September 8th issue of Youth’s Campanion.  The 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

(* ‘to’ added in October 1892).

Bellamy promptly went to speak at the national meeting of school superintendents to promote the new pledge and flag ritual.  The convention liked the idea and created a committee of educators to implement the program.  Bellamy was selected as the chair (conflict of interest much?) and in predictable fashion, he and his committee created the directive for schools to participate in a flag raising ceremony while reciting his pledge .pledge7n-3-web  The recital was originally accompanied by the “Bellamy salute”, which eerily resembles the Nazi salute and was removed during World War II for that very reason.  And that, ladies and gentleman, is why you stood everyday before class and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Lovett explains in his video that beyond the shady beginnings of the pledge, he takes issue with the actual words.  In fact, he doesn’t even go beyond the first five words before he throws up his own red flag.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag…”

He goes on to define the word allegiance, “loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause.”  In a country of supposedly free individuals, that definitely goes against the grain of liberty.  Lovett states,

“I don’t know about you people, but I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that the government is their lord, or their master”.

He concludes the video by advocating that the pledge be taken out of schools and further warns that parents should take their kids out of public schools as it only serves to condition.  He reminds us of a famous quote by the socialist, Adolf Hitler–

He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future


When asked what prompted him to create the video, Lovett said that he drives a truck for a living and has a lot of time to think.  He has also been in some Facebook debates recently regarding the Pledge of Allegiance in schools, and thought that creating a video would have more of an impact.

I’m just trying to educate people and just because it sounds good or looks good doesn’t mean it’s good. And especially If the government says it’s good, that should be a red flag and you need to research it.

Now that you know the pledge was nothing more than a socialist marketing gimmick, you may be inclined to skip the pledge of allegiance in your next class, or government meeting.  However, you must be warned, individuals not yet aware of the history may freak out.  For example, Mason Michalec decided to sit during a pledge ceremony in his public school and ended up earning a 2 day suspension.  Michalec was protesting government policies such as the NSA spying programs and proposed internet regulations such as CISPA.  He stated that he loves his country, just not his government.

Interesting Revisions to the Pledge of Allegiance
1923 – the National Flag Conference called for the words “my Flag” to be changed to “the Flag of the United States”, so that new immigrants would not confuse loyalties between their birth countries and the United States

1942 – The Bellamy Salute was discontinued due to the similarity to the Nazi Salute. It was changed to the hand-over-heart gesture when congress amended the Flag Code.

1954 – The phrase “under God” was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance June 14, 1954, by a Joint Resolution of Congress amending §4 of the Flag Code enacted in 1942