Red Skelton was before my time but a a few times a year, I come across his Pledge of Allegiance video and it’s just amazing to watch. Skelton is best known as a comedy legend, but his rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance on national television is an American treasure. My feelings are American classrooms at least three times during the school year, probably during major assemblies.
Filmed in 1969, it is likely the finest Pledge ever recorded. Notice how Skelton, a lifelong performer tears up as he finishes his performance despite having practiced the routine innumerable time – that’s the love of country from a true patriot for you.
“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.
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…
Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that would be eliminated from schools too?
– Red Skelton
Think I am onto something? How did you feel after watching this from the late comedian. Share your thoughts below.