To the flag
During the war for independence, Betsy Ross sewed together a colored banner consisting of 13 stripes, seven red and six white, with a circle of 13 white stars in a field of blue.

One star and one stripe stood for each of the 13 original colonies, which became the first 13 independent states joining into this country.

Today the flag has the 13 stripes and 50 stars on a field of blue – the stripes for each of the first 13 states and the stars for each of our present 50 states.

Of the United States of America
This is our country, the greatest democratic republic in all history.

And to the republic for which it stands,
In a republic, the people elect from among themselves the most wise and honorable to conduct the affairs of government. These elected officials must abide by the limits of the national and state constitutions. It behooves us to be educated voters, because we deserve no better government than we elect for ourselves.

One nation, under God,
Our forefathers came here to establish a country where they could worship the God of their choice as they saw fit. They came from lands where the government had established a state religion, and any who chose not to believe that way still were required to pay taxes to support the state church, and were persecuted and jailed and killed for believing in a way other than that prescribed by the state church.

They did not seek to establish a nation free from religion, but free for the practice of religion. For each man and woman, by the dictates of their own conscience, so long as this did not infringe on the rights of another. Our founding fathers acknowledged the hand of God in the struggle for freedom, and in the establishment of our Constitution. And yes, they prayed.

One of the early cartoons pictured a snake cut into 13 pieces. The caption read, “Unite or Die.” This is one of the issues over which the Civil War was fought. We are not all the same, and we seldom agree, but we must tolerate each other with all our differences to remain the greatest nation in all history.

With liberty
That’s also called freedom. To think and to speak your mind without fear, to come and go as you please. Our Bill of Rights gives us this liberty and limits the powers of government. And gives us the means of defending our liberty from our government.

And justice
Our court system gives us a means of legal redress of wrongs committed against us. And since self-government requires self-discipline, and some among us have not figured that out, yes, we have a few jails in the land. If you don’t like what you see in the way of practitioners of the law, then go to school and you be the kind of lawyer you think they all should be.  

For all
Yes, liberty and justice is for everyone, man or woman, black, brown, white, pink or purple.  

This is our pledge of allegiance. And now is not the time to allow anyone to monkey with it or with our Constitution. We can live at peace with our differences and defend each others’ rights to be different. That’s what America is all about.  FG

“Our Pledge of Allegiance” first ran 10 or 11 years ago, and there has been much water under the bridge since then. I feel strongly that it is time to review what that pledge means and who we are as a nation and a people.

It has now been 237 years since our country declared its independence. That declaration was followed by the Revolutionary War, or the War for Independence.

The War of 1812 has been called "The Second War for Independence." We experienced some foreign interference in the great calamity of the Civil War. Since that time our homeland has not been attacked from the outside until Sept. 11, 2001.  

Some would have us believe that this nation has changed from the idol of the rest of the world to a nation seen as a braggart and a bully.


I don’t believe this, and the proof I see is the influx of people from other cultures who came here for liberty, personal safety and opportunity.

No, our country is not perfect, nor has it ever been. But it appears to remain a bastion of freedom that those from all over the world seek to become part of. Let us always remember the blood of patriots that has given us our freedom; and the blood of heroes that still flows to allow us to maintain our freedom.

Are we grateful for what we have? How many in the world we live in never had the opportunity for an education, let alone the freedom to grow and prosper with that education and to come and go as they please.

There are still places in the world where you have to have a license to own a simple typewriter. In addition, that license is more difficult to get than is a license in this county to own a machine gun.

Every now and again, we as individuals have to take a stand for something. And once in a while taking a stand for something will get us bruised and battered. All that needs to happen for us to lose our freedom in this great land is for good men to do nothing at all.

It took a great deal more than a little bruising and battering to gain our freedom in the first place. By the same token, the time comes when we as a nation have to step in and take a stand.

And this always results in some bruising and battering that results in some of our finest young soldiers coming home covered with Old Glory.

Nothing is perfect in this world and mistakes are made. However, God forbid that we as individuals or that we as a nation ever turn our back and do nothing when we could have made a difference. By the way, if you do not vote, you have not the right to criticize elected officials.

Fellow Americans, do study the issues, do pay attention to what our elected officials are doing, and do be vocal about what you see going on around you, good or bad.

The freedom which we enjoy was secured for us by the blood of patriots, and so help me, it can all be lost in a generation. See that your children and grandchildren understand this and that they understand what the Pledge of Allegiance really means.