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1969, January 14, Explanation of The Pledge of Allegiance by Red Skelton
Survival in the world of comedy takes great insight into the workings of humanity, and great timing to relay those observations with humor. At times comedians and poets will often use their insight to not only point out things for humor, but also to make pointed remarks about society. Here Mr. Skelton relates a narrative from his 7th grade school teacher. Only the last paragraph of the following is identified as his own commentary.
"I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?"
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's respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job.
United: that means that we have all come together.
States: individual communities that have united into 48 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's love for country.
And to the 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 God"
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 retaliation.
And Justice: the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
For All: which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.
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... Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that would be eliminated from schools too?