Fields: Why I’ve Pledged My Last Pledge Of Allegiance

Guest Columnist

Watching opponents of health care reform use the Pledge of Allegiance to drown out the opposition made me look into the history and purpose of the Pledge.

It has led me to the conclusion that I have pledged my last pledge.
Contrary to local myth, the Pledge of Allegiance was not written by Bob Lockwood, the late Clerk of the Courts.*

Ironically, what has become a rightwing cudgel, was authored in the 1890’s by Francis Bellamy, a well-known socialist.  It went through various versions until 1954 when “under god“ –which I scrupulously avoided saying–was added. 
Even the salute has undergone change.  Although used before Hitler was old enough to be Bar Mitzvahed, the original Pledge salute looked just like the Nazi salute.  

Whatever Bellamy had in mind, it has long since become nothing he intended.
In the 1988 election, Poppy Bush attacked Michael Dukakis’s patriotism for vetoing a bill that would have made the pledge mandatory
Dukakis had it right.  Requiring people to publicly repeat a pledge for “liberty and justice for all.  might be the irony of ironies.  It was certainly unconstitutional.
The American Rightwing has co-opted the Pledge along with the flag and the National Anthem.  What should be symbols of freedom have become weapons of obedience to the government.
Following family tradition, I have always flown a flag on National Holidays.  

A while back, when the Right attempted to amend the Constitution to make it criminal to burn Old Glory, I reconsidered that tradition. Instead I hung it upside downa distress code. 
When a symbol of freedom becomes a weapon of oppression, I know which side of the road I need to be on.
I can’t imagine one person has ever become a better American because they regularly repeated an oath. 
I’m through with saying it.


*Robert Lockwood was elected Broward’s clerk of the courts in November, 1976  and served to January, 2000, when he died of cancer.  The former insurance executive was part of the Democratic landslide that accompanied the election of Jimmy Carter. 

Lockwood was well-known for leading audiences in the Pledge of Allegiance at hundreds of events he was invited to during his tenure. Although he knew the Pledge by heart, he carried a copy in his wallet.

Republican Ed Kennedy was appointed to fill the vacancy after his death.  Kennedy lost an election that same year to the current clerk, Howard Forman.    — Buddy Nevins.

9 Responses to “Fields: Why I’ve Pledged My Last Pledge Of Allegiance”

  1. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:


    You are a liberal tree hugging Prius driving health care for all commie pinko spy.

    Welcome aboard!!!

    Semper Fi. Carry on.

    Chaz Stevens, Commissioner

  2. Not Our Way says:

    Throughout our 234 years the country has seen many generations, wars, good times and bad, depressions and recessions, changes in government and societal values. Never until now has there been such willingness to walk away from being a patriot no matter what the difficulty.

    There is no better example we can point to for why this generation is the first in the country’s history that cannot claim to be better than the last. We are a weak and self-centered group. We argue but cannot find consensus. Our society has lost our common sense of values. There is no general agreement on right and wrong anymore.

    I will continue to pledge allegiance to the flag of this nation, not because it is perfect. It isn’t and never has been. Probably never will be, but because without a nation to pledge our allegiance to we are orphans. And for me if that nation isn’t America I’d rather be dead.

    For better or worse I am an American and I believe in this country. I want our country to do well and still consider it my responsibility to hand down to my kids and theirs a better nation than I was given by my parents and grandparents.

    I want there to always be at least one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. And for sure I want one of them to be the USA.

    No American has a right to give up on our country. You want to find out what oppression is? Let this nation die and you’ll find out real quick.

  3. Thunder says:

    As we used to say in the 50’s, up your a** with Mobil gas.

  4. major penalty says:

    too bad that sam feels so badly about america. he seems to have carved out a nice career and life in the land where freedom rings.maybe he would rather live with chavez and the hollywood wackos who so adore him.

  5. Rastas says:

    Sam: You’re not a fighter, bro. Instead of abandoning the field and letting right wing loons claim a monopoly on the Pledge, get in there and assert your birthright as a proud American. When it comes to the words “and liberty and justice for all,” boom them out. You can mumble the “under God” segment if you like.
    Nobody ever won a political fight (or any other kind) by running away, bro.

  6. watcher says:

    major penalty…why is the alternative for the narrow minded always “love it or leave it”???…how about if you love something make it better….Rastas has it right, sing the anthem loudly and mumble the pledge

  7. Floridan says:

    Can we now expect the Pledge of Allegiance to stand alongside prayer in school as a meanless litmus test of being “American”?

    I suggewt all these “patriots” read the Supreme Court decision in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.

  8. Hoos Bin Pharteen says:


    Thank you for helping the cause by trying to destroy America from within! Terrorists around the world, applaud you!

    BTW: Since you are such a self proclaimed liberal, can you tell us how much extra you send in when you pay your taxes, you are a rich man after all, yes? The rest of you dopes are welcome to answer too……….

  9. watcher says:

    Hoos….are you 10 or older????