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The Pledge of Allegiance to Socialism and Imperialism


Since everyone is discussing the socialism of the Obama administration, it seems to me that this would be a good time to discuss the Pledge of Allegiance.

Why the Pledge?

Well, because the pledge was written by a socialist named Francis Bellamy. He was the cousin of Edward Bellamy, the author of the 1888 novel Looking Backward, which was a paean to socialism

Now, I know that just because something was written by a socialist doesn’t necessarily make it bad, but isn’t it enough to at least raise a red (or pink) flag?

Bellamy wrote the pledge in 1892, the period in which American “progressives” were actively supporting the socialist principles that would later come to be adopted by both the Democrat and Republican parties.

Bellamy promoted the use of the pledge in the public (i.e., government) schools. Needless to say, this is not surprising, given that the primary aim of government schools everywhere is to produce the good, little citizen — one whose mind is molded and bent to a state of conformity and submissiveness to the government.

Here are Bellamy’s instructions as to how the pledge was to be implemented in the public schools, as quoted in an excellent article entitled “What’s Conservative About the Pledge of Allegiance?” by Gene Healy, senior editor at the Cato Institute:

“At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the Flag the military salute — right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it…. At the words, ‘to my Flag,’ the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, towards the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.”

Now, take a look at this photograph of American schoolchildren delivering the Pledge of Allegiance in an American classroom. Do you notice anything special about the manner in which they are pledging allegiance to the flag?

If not, then take a look at this photograph and see if you can’t see a similarity between the two photographs.

And if you still don’t get the point, take a look at this photograph.

The point is this: the salute that an American socialist taught American schoolchildren to deliver during the Pledge of Allegiance is the same as the salute that Germans were later taught to use in their pledge to their country’s National Socialist regime. How ironic is that?

For some reason, U.S. officials later decided to change the Pledge of Allegiance salute to having American students putting their hands on their hearts in place of stretching their arms in front of them.

The Pledge of Allegiance has become a permanent fixture in American life, not only in the public schools but also at many adult functions. The irony is that it doesn’t even accurately portray the situation in America, given that Americans, after the adoption of the pledge, abandoned a free-market economic system in favor of a socialistic welfare state and a limited-government republic in favor of an extensive overseas military empire.

To more accurately reflect reality, perhaps the Pledge of Allegiance should be amended, as follows:

“I pledge allegiance to the government of the United States and to its socialism, militarism, and imperialism, one system over God, indivisible by force, with liberty through paternalism and justice through tribunal.”

Better yet, how about a libertarian revolution in America, one in which economic liberty is restored to our land, the socialistic welfare state is repealed entirely, school and state are completely separated, the empire is dismantled and the republic is restored, and the socialist-inspired Pledge of Allegiance is cast into the dustbin of history?

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.