Bellamy was a Christian utopian socialist, who believed in redistribution of wealth to accomplish justice. A Marxist who hadn't lost religion. He was one who believed that to accomplish a utopian United States, it would have to begin with the children. The Pledge he wrote as part of the 400th anniversary of Colombus' arrival in the Americas, was also coincident with the movement to have an American flag in every American school.
This happened 27 years after Appomattox; the memory of disunion was fresh in the Collective memory of the Nation.
Taken from Wikipedia:
His 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).
|Pre-war Bellamy salute during the Pledge. |
Feel warm and fuzzy?
The recital was accompanied with a salute to the flag known as the Bellamy salute, described in detail by Bellamy. During World War II, the salute was replaced with a hand-over-heart gesture because the original form involved stretching the arm out towards the flag in a manner that resembled the later Nazi salute. (For a history of the pledge, see Pledge of Allegiance).
In 1954, in response to the perceived threat of secular Communism, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words "under God," creating the 31-word pledge that is recited today.
Bellamy commented on his thoughts as he created the pledge, and his reasons for choosing the careful wording:
- "It began as an intensive communing with salient points of our national history, from the Declaration of Independence onwards; with the makings of the Constitution... with the meaning [ha!] of the Civil War; with the aspiration of the people...
- "The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the 'republic (sic) which it stands'. ...And what does that last thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation (Sorry, Bellamy, old man, but involuntary "Nation" post 1865, and voluntary 1776 "Republic" [when the Bill of Rights still meant something] are antithetical) - the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove (prove with a bayonet, you mean. Oh, I see the point of your argument. You must be right. My bad.). To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches (no comment...Bellamy was 10 years old in 1865. He knew no other religion than post War Lincoln cultism). And its future?
- "Just here arose the temptation of the historic slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, 'Liberty, equality, fraternity'. No, that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all..." (and now we all know how that ended up--liberty for none, leniency for the well connected)
Hat tip to humblelibertarian.com