As a schoolboy in Vincennes, Indiana, 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 to which you are now listening. It is followed by observations of his own.
Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
My love and my devotion.
Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of courage; and wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts, "Freedom is everybody's job."
That means that we have all come together.
Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided by imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that is love of country... of America.
Republic--a sovereign state in which 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.
meaning, so blessed by God.
Incapable of being divided.
Which is Freedom; the right of power for one to live his own life, without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.
The principle, and qualities, of dealing fairly with others.
For All--that 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 schools, too?
|The audio accompanying this page is from Skelton's January 14, 1969 broadcast, which featured the material. The clip is from the original broadcast, while the images above are the front and back of the promotional "paper" recording produced from that program.|
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