Example: [Skelton, 1969]
The Pledge of Allegiance:
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
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: For all, which 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?
Origins: Red Skelton, a veteran comic who successfully plied his trade as a sentimental clown figure in vaudeville and radio, delighted television audiences for twenty years playing characters he had perfected on radio
Skelton then delivered to his audience (accompanied by a background of string music) a stirring version of the explanation provided to his school class by their teacher so many years earlier (and a recitation of the pledge itself), as quoted above. Skelton's explication and rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance proved to be quite popular and widely acclaimed, and in response to public demand it was issued in print and pressed into
But in 1969, the Supreme Court decisions that eliminated compulsory prayer and Bible reading in public schools as unconstitutional, Abington School District v. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett, were still fairly recent (having been handed down in 1963), and protests over American military involvement in Vietnam had rendered the American flag as much a symbol of divisiveness as of unity. Skelton, a soft-spoken, sentimental personality who ended every program with the invocation "Good night, and may God bless," added a coda to
Skelton performed a similar explication of the Canadian national anthem, "O Canada," during a visit to that country in 1990:
"Our home and native land": A place where families live with dignity on rich soil that shares food and beauty.
"True patriot": Patriotism, a pride, a privilege to say, I, me, an individual, a committee of one, and dedicate all my worldly goods, to give without self-pity.
"love in all thy sons command": That powerful youth that gives all their love and devotion, holding the standard with the Maple Leaf high in the air; for it is a symbol of courage and wherever she waves, she shouts "Freedom is everybody's job."
"With glowing hearts we see thee rise": A warmth that incubates incentive; wisdom that feeds beyond superstition and ignorance.
"the true north strong": She is that compass needle that points to inspiring reality, and the courage to struggle on, to find a dream and make it come true.
"and free": That right of power for one to live his own life without fear or stress or any sort of retaliation.
"And stand on guard, O Canada": Not that we want to flaunt our strength, but to be capable of facing the strongest should that enemy appear.
"We stand on guard for thee": we protect all doctrines and share thy spirit of logic and reasoning.
"O Canada, glorious and free!": That means justice, the principle and qualities of dealing fairly with others.
"O Canada , we stand on guard for thee": So we can stand proud and say to our neighbor, "This is as much my country as it is yours."
AMOS: The Lord's Prayer? Well, darlin', I'll 'splain it to you. It means an awful lot, and with the world like it is today, it seems to have bigger meaning than ever before.
ARABDELLA: But what does the Lord's Prayer really mean, Daddy?
AMOS: Now, you lay down, and you listen. The first line of the Lord's Prayer is this: "Our Father which art in Heaven"
ARABDELLA: That would be wonderful, Daddy.
AMOS: Then it says — "Give us this day our daily bread"
ARABDELLA: Yes, Daddy.
AMOS: Well, that means we mus' keep the Golden Rule and do unto others as we would want them to do unto us. And then it says
| The Pledge of Allegiance
((The Red Skelton Show — 14 January 1969))
Last updated: 9 March 2007
Andrews, Bart. Holy Mackeral! — The Amos 'n' Andy Story. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1986. ISBN 0-525-24354-2 (pp. 97-98).