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Pledge of Allegiance

Updated on December 10, 2014

Commentary on The Pledge of Allegiance

Red Skelton: 1913 - 1997

By Red Skelton delivered 14 January 1969

When I was a small boy in Vincennes, Indiana, I heard, I think, one of the most outstanding speeches I ever heard in my life. I think it compares with the Sermon on the Mount, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and Socrates' Speech to the Students.

We had just finished reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and he [Mr. Lasswell, the Principal of Vincennes High School] called us all together, and he says, "Uh, boys and girls, I have been listening to you recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester, and it seems that it has become monotonous to you. Or, could it be, you do not understand the meaning of each word? If I may, I would like to recite the pledge, and give you a definition for each word:

I -- Me; an individual; a committee of one.

Pledge -- Dedicate all of my worldly good to give without self-pity.

Allegiance -- My love and my devotion.

To the Flag -- Our standard. "Old Glory"; a symbol of courage. And wherever she waves, there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts "Freedom is everybody's job."

of the United -- That means we have all come together.

States -- Individual communities that have united into 48 great states; 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided by imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that's love of country, of America.

And to the Republic -- A Republic: a sovereign state in which power is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern; and the 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 -- Meaning "so blessed by God."

Indivisible -- Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty -- Which is freedom; the right of power for one to live his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.

And Justice -- The principle and qualities of dealing fairly with others.

For All -- For All. That means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.

Now 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 be eliminated from our schools, too?

Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

ELECTION DAY AND A NEW CONGRESS AND SENATE

4 November 2014 has passed....

Election Day has came and gone and many a new person has been placed into office from the lowest town council member to the President of the United States. I pray they understand the Pledge to our Flag here in America.

The year 2015 is right around the corner and a new Congress and Senate will be taking office. "We The People" must get out and make known to those in office that they must take their oath of office seriously to make a difference in the future for our Country and the future of America to bring in back in line as a Nation 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' and One Nation Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice For All.

Wow! After hearing the Pledge broken down like that it makes us all wonder with the latest elections how many of our elected officials now in office and those soon to be elected or replaced really know about the Pledge of Allegiance. Find out if your public school system or the private schools in your area are still saying the Pledge each day and if the children know about raising the flag and lowering the flag and the proper way to fold the flag is being taught at all. I have heard many news reports where the Pledge to our Flag has been taken out of Public schools with the excuse there is not enough time for the pledge! If the Pledge is not happening in your school district I think it is time for all of us to find out why and make a change to get it started back. What do you think?

The Star Spangled Banner with lyrics

Go ahead, Stand up, put your Right Hand over your Heart and sing it and don't forget the meaning behind the words of this wonderful song.

Star Spangled Banner

Republic

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, retain supreme control over the government, at least in theory, and where offices of state are not granted through heritage. The common modern definition of a republic is a government having a head of state who is not a monarch. The word "republic" is derived from the Latin phrase res publica, which can be translated as "a public affair", and often used to describe a state using this form of government.

Both modern and ancient republics vary widely in their ideology and composition. In classical and medieval times the archetype of all republics was the Roman Republic, which referred to Rome in between the period when it had kings, and the periods when it had emperors. The Italian medieval and Renaissance political tradition today referred to as "civic humanism" is sometimes considered to derive directly from Roman republicans such as Sallust and Tacitus. But Greek-influenced authors about Rome, such as Polybius and Cicero, also sometimes used the term as a translation for Greek politeia which could mean regime generally, but could also be applied to certain specific types of regime, not exactly corresponding to the Roman Republic, for example including Sparta, which had two kings but was not considered a normal monarchy as it also had ephors representing the common people. Republics were not equated with classical democracies such as Athens, but had a democratic aspect to them.

In modern republics such as the United States and India, the executive is legitimized both by a constitution and by popular suffrage. James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, compared republican government to democratic government, and found democracy wanting. Montesquieu included both democracies, where all the people have a share in rule, and aristocracies or oligarchies, where only some of the people rule, as republican forms of government.

Most often a republic is a sovereign country, but there are also subnational entities that are referred to as republics, or which have governments that are described as "republican" in nature. For instance, Article IV of the Constitution of the United States "guarantee[s] to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government". The Soviet Union was a single state composed of distinct and nominally sovereign Soviet Socialist Republics.

Democracy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Democracy is a form of government in which all people have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal (and more or less direct) participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law. It can also encompass social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination. The term comes from the Greek: "rule of the people", which was coined from "people" and "power", in the middle of the 5th-4th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens following a popular uprising in 508 BC.

According to some theories of democracy, popular sovereignty is the founding principle of such a system. However, the democratic principle has also been expressed as "the freedom to call something into being which did not exist before, which was not given and which therefore, strictly speaking, could not be known." This type of freedom, which is connected to human "natality," or the capacity to begin anew, sees democracy as "not only a political system [but] an ideal, an aspiration, really, intimately connected to and dependent upon a picture of what it is to be human-of what it is a human should be to be fully human."

While there is no specific, universally accepted definition of 'democracy', equality and freedom have both been identified as important characteristics of democracy since ancient times. These principles are reflected in all citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to legislative processes. For example, in a representative democracy, every vote has equal weight, no unreasonable restrictions can apply to anyone seeking to become a representative, and the freedom of its citizens is secured by legitimized rights and liberties which are generally protected by a constitution.

There are several varieties of democracy, some of which provide better representation and more freedom for their citizens than others. However, if any democracy is not structured so as to prohibit the government from excluding the people from the legislative process, or any branch of government from altering the separation of powers in its own favor, then a branch of the system can accumulate too much power and destroy the democracy. Representative Democracy, Consensus Democracy, and Deliberative Democracy are all major examples of attempts at a form of government that is both practical and responsive to the needs and desires of citizens.

Many people use the term "democracy" as shorthand for liberal democracy, which may include elements such as political pluralism; equality before the law; the right to petition elected officials for redress of grievances; due process; civil liberties; human rights; and elements of civil society outside the government. In the United States, separation of powers is often cited as a central attribute, but in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the dominant principle is that of parliamentary sovereignty (though in practice judicial independence is generally maintained). In other cases, "democracy" is used to mean direct democracy. Though the term "democracy" is typically used in the context of a political state, the principles are applicable to private organizations and other groups as well.

Majority rule is often listed as a characteristic of democracy. However, it is also possible for a minority to be oppressed by a "tyranny of the majority" in the absence of governmental or constitutional protections of individual or group rights. An essential part of an "ideal" representative democracy is competitive elections that are fair both substantively and procedurally. Furthermore, freedom of political expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press are considered to be essential, so that citizens are adequately informed and able to vote according to their own best interests as they see them. It has also been suggested that a basic feature of democracy is the capacity of individuals to participate freely and fully in the life of their society.

Democracy has its formal origins in Ancient Greece, but democratic practices are evident in earlier societies including Mesopotamia, Phoenicia and India. Other cultures since Greece have significantly contributed to the evolution of democracy such as Ancient Rome, Europe, and North and South America. The concept of representative democracy arose largely from ideas and institutions that developed during the European Middle Ages and the Age of Enlightenment and in the American and French Revolutions. Democracy has been called the "last form of government" and has spread considerably across the globe. The right to vote has been expanded in many jurisdictions over time from relatively narrow groups (such as wealthy men of a particular ethnic group), with New Zealand the first nation to grant universal suffrage for all its citizens in 1893. Democracy is often confused with the republic form of government.

REPUBLIC vs. DEMOCRACY

SUMMARY

In the Pledge of Allegiance we all pledge allegiance to our Republic, not to a democracy. "Republic" is the proper description of our government, not "democracy." I invite you to join me in raising public awareness regarding that distinction.

A republic and a democracy are identical in every aspect except one. In a republic the sovereignty is in each individual person. In a democracy the sovereignty is in the group.

Republic. That form of government in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whome those powers are specially delegated. [NOTE: The word "people" may be either plural or singular. In a republic the group only has advisory powers; the sovereign individual is free to reject the majority group-think. USA/exception: if 100% of a jury convicts, then the individual loses sovereignty and is subject to group-think as in a democracy.

Democracy. That form of government in which the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly or indirectly through a system of representation, as distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy. [NOTE: In a pure democracy, 51% beats 49%. In other words, the minority has no rights. The minority only has those privileges granted by the dictatorship of the majority.]

The distinction between our Republic and a democracy is not an idle one. It has great legal significance.

The Constitution guarantees to every state a Republican form of government (Art. 4, Sec. 4). No state may join the United States unless it is a Republic. Our Republic is one dedicated to "liberty and justice for all." Minority individual rights are the priority. The people have natural rights instead of civil rights. The people are protected by the Bill of Rights from the majority. One vote in a jury can stop all of the majority from depriving any one of the people of his rights; this would not be so if the United States were a democracy. (see People's rights vs Citizens' rights)

In a pure democracy 51 beats 49[%]. In a democracy there is no such thing as a significant minority: there are no minority rights except civil rights (privileges) granted by a condescending majority. Only five of the U.S. Constitution's first ten amendments apply to Citizens of the United States. Simply stated, a democracy is a dictatorship of the majority. Socrates was executed by a democracy: though he harmed no one, the majority found him intolerable.

SOME DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS

And EXAMPLES

Government. ....the government is but an agency of the state, distinguished as it must be in accurate thought from its scheme and machinery of government. ....In a colloquial sense, the United States or its representatives, considered as the prosecutor in a criminal action; as in the phrase, "the government objects to the witness." [Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, p. 625]

Government; Republican government. One in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whome those powers are specially delegated. In re Duncan, 139 U.S. 449, 11 S.Ct. 573, 35 L.Ed. 219; Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 162, 22 L.Ed. 627. [Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, p. 626]

Democracy. That form of government in which the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly or indirectly through a system of representation, as distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy. Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, pp. 388-389.

Note: Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, can be found in any law library and most law offices.

EXAMPLE

Democratic Form of Government: An environmental organization proposes a bill for the ballot that every individual should reduce his water household usage by 25%. To assure that this goal is met, the government, or private sector, will monitor every individual's household water consumption rate. If an individual does not meet the goal, his first offense is $500 fine. Second offense is $750 fine and 30 days community service. Third offense is $1,500 fine and 30 days imprisonment. Fourth offense is $1,750 fine and 90 days imprisonment. Fifth offense is a felony (1-year imprisonment) and $2,000 fine.

The people argue this environmental issue back and forth. They argue the pros and cons of the issue. This great debate is held at town hall meetings. Strong opinions are on both sides of the matter. One side preaches, "It is for the common good!" The other side rebuttals, "This is control and not freedom, and lost of choice!" Election day occurs. The people go to the ballot box to settle the problem. The majority won by a vote of 51% whereas the minority lost with a vote of 49%. The minority is ignored. The majority celebrates while the minority jeers in disappointment. Since the majority won, the bill goes in effect. As a result of the majority winning, every individual must reduce his household water usage by 25%. For the reason that the majority has mandatory powers in a democracy. Those who wish to go against the collective (whole body politic) will be punished accordingly. The minority has neither voice nor rights to refuse to accept the dictatorial majority. Everything is mandatory in a democracy. This brings dictatorship and lividity to the realm.

Republican Form of Government: An environmental organization proposes a bill for the ballot that every individual should reduce his water household usage by 25%. To assure that this goal is met, the government, or private sector, will monitor every individual's household water consumption rate. If an individual does not meet the goal, his first offense is $500 fine. Second offense is $750 fine and 30 days community service. Third offense is $1,500 fine and 30 days imprisonment. Fourth offense is $1,750 fine and 90 days imprisonment. Fifth offense is a felony (1-year imprisonment) and $2,000 fine.

The people argue this environmental issue back and forth. They argue the pros and cons of the issue. This great debate is held at town hall meetings. Strong opinions are on both sides of the matter. One side preaches, "It is for the common good!" The other side rebuttals, "This is control and not freedom, and lost of choice!" Election day occurs. The people go to the ballot box to settle the problem. The majority won by a vote of 51% whereas the minority lost with a vote of 49%. The minority may have lost, but not all is gone. The majority celebrates while the minority jeers in disappointment. Since the majority won, the bill goes in effect. As a result of the majority winning, it is advisory that every individual reduce his household water usage by 25%. For the reason that the majority has advisory powers in a republic. Bearing in mind that each individual is equally sovereign in a republic, he is free to reject the majority. He may choose to follow the majority and subject himself to the rule, or he may choose not to follow the majority and not subject himself to the rule. The minority has a voice and rights to refuse to accept the majority. Everything is advisory in a republic. This brings liberty and peace to the realm.

COMMENTS ON BOTH

About A Republic vs A Democracy

Notice that in a Democracy, the sovereignty is in the whole body of the free citizens. The sovereignty is not divided to smaller units such as individual citizens. To solve a problem, only the whole body politic is authorized to act. Also, being citizens, individuals have duties and obligations to the government. The government's only obligations to the citizens are those legislatively pre-defined for it by the whole body politic.

In a Republic, the sovereignty resides in the people themselves, whether one or many. In a Republic, one may act on his own or through his representatives as he chooses to solve a problem. Further, the people have no obligation to the government; instead, the government being hired by the people, is obliged to its owner, the people.

The people own the government agencies. The government agencies own the citizens. In the United States we have a three-tiered cast system consisting of people ---> government agencies ---> and citizens.

The people did "ordain and establish this Constitution," not for themselves, but "for the United States of America." In delegating powers to the government agencies the people gave up none of their own. (See Preamble of U.S. Constitution). This adoption of this concept is why the U.S. has been called the "Great Experiment in self government." The People govern themselves, while their agents (government agencies) perform tasks listed in the Preamble for the benefit of the People. The experiment is to answer the question, "Can self-governing people coexist and prevail over government agencies that have no authority over the People?"

The citizens of the United States are totally subject to the laws of the United States (See 14th Amendment of U.S. Constitution). NOTE: U.S. citizenship did not exist until July 28, 1868.

Actually, the United States is a mixture of the two systems of government (Republican under Common Law, and democratic under statutory law). The People enjoy their God-given natural rights in the Republic. In a democracy, the Citizens enjoy only government granted privileges (also known as civil rights).

There was a great political division between two major philosophers, Hobbes and Locke. Hobbes was on the side of government. He believed that sovereignty was vested in the state. Locke was on the side of the People. He believed that the fountain of sovereignty was the People of the state. Statists prefer Hobbes. Populists choose Locke. In California, the Government Code sides with Locke. Sections 11120 and 54950 both say, "The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them." The preambles of the U.S. and California Constitutions also affirm the choice of Locke by the People.

It is my hope that the U.S. will always remain a Republic, because I value individual freedom.

Thomas Jefferson said that liberty and ignorance cannot coexist.* Will you help to preserve minority rights by fulfilling the promise in the Pledge of Allegiance to support the Republic? Will you help by raising public awareness of the difference between the Republic and a democracy?

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization,

it expects what never was and never will be."

Thomas Jefferson, 1816.

A REPUBLIC or A DEMOCRACY

Now we have learned a bit more on Politics here and the difference between a Republic and a Democracy. Surprised? Leave a comment in the New Guestbook module and share your views.

Are you for a Republic form of Government or a Democrat form of Government?

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    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for this lens. You reminded me how much I loved Red and how much I love the Pledge.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Just had to stop by here again and noticed the angel dust had gotten old, thank you sir!

    • mrducksmrnot profile image
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      mrducksmrnot 4 years ago

      @takkhisa: Thank You for the visit and the like. I really like this lens and the Pledge broken down word for word.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      What a great informative lens! Thank you for sharing.

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      mrducksmrnot 4 years ago

      November 6, 2012 is right around the corner (ELECTION DAY). Wonder how many of our elected officials or soon to be elected officials know what each word means in the Pledge of Allegiance.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I haven't heard of Red Skelton for many years. Great speech from him:)

    • mrducksmrnot profile image
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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      @Blackspaniel1: A special Thanks for the visit and like. Hope the message hit's home not just for America but for "All" as Red says. America is just One Nation among many just as all of us here on Squidoo are Just One among many from all over the world sharing freely for the common good of all. Blessings and special prayers to you.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Very well done!

    • mrducksmrnot profile image
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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      @kerryhrabstock: Glad you enjoy this lens and especially the Pledge. Also thanks for the comments and thanks for my service. I can only hope and pray that our Nation will turn around and become One Nation Under God once again. Will check your lens soon.

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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      @julieannbrady: I also give Thanks for all the Grandmaw's who set those of us who listened on the right path in life. Thanks for the comment. Been offline for a month now and catching up after a move. God Bless and keep you and all who have left comments. I'll be off to visit everyone soon.

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 5 years ago

      Incredible message! Freedom is one 'uh the greatest gifts an' rights we have. I loved Red Skelton's message of life. I remember when he gave that message an' I loved his continuing message of God Bless.

      I do hope you will forgive the message that is repeated to others. I was so thrilled anâ excited that so many people visited anâ commented on my pages whilst I was unable to keep up anâ I wannaâ thank everyone. Unfortunately, I havenât figured out how to think anâ type fast enough to thank everyone for your many good wishes anâ kind thoughts, without running behind anâ missing someone.

      My heart is full as I begin to write. Your visits, Squid Likes, Angel Blessings, anâ all visits of note meant so much to me. I am jusâ overwhelmed with love for everyone who has shared your support as I continue to seek excellence on Squidoo. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for the kindness you have shown. I look forward to getting to know you anâ learning from you. Thank you for everything!

    • kerryhrabstock profile image

      kerryhrabstock 5 years ago

      What a cool lens. I remember Red's Pledge very well. Keep writing and thank you for your service to our country.

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      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      It was my grandma in Cleveland Ohio who got us hooked, as kids, on Red Skelton. She also taught us respect. Pride ... dignity ... and purpose. I thank my grandma for setting us kids on the right path in life.

    • mrducksmrnot profile image
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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      @tvyps: Ditto.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thought provoking lens. I always liked how he ended anything he said with a simple "God Bless."

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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: Thank You for the comments. I also remember Red on TV on a regular basis. It was one of the shows us kids were allowed to watch. TV has changed over the years and is not as entertaining as it once was or maybe I'm just getting older. Love those old programs from yesteryear.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Red Skeleton was one of my favorite actors when I was growing up. I can still see in my mind one image of a Christmas special of a fancy restaurant and poor children looking in the window. He could bring such important issues to light with such ease.

    • mrducksmrnot profile image
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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      @Ann Hinds: Thanks for the comments and blessing. Glad your Grandson got to listen and learn. Glad your making a lens on the National Anthem and the meaning of the words. It is surprising how many folks do not know the words or the meaning behind each word. Looking forward to you new lens.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 5 years ago from So Cal

      Good timing to discover this lens. We just had a discussion about the "rock stars" of today who don't know or can't remember the words to the national anthem. I just played your version for my grandson and we have agreed that he doesn't know what any of the words mean.Just as I did for the Christmas Carols, I will now do a lens on the words to this song. BTW, this is a great, great lens. Angel blessed.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      I remember hearing the Red Skelton pledge as a kid. Now, I teach fifth grade, so will show them the Youtube of it. Thanks. (When I was little, I thought my parents watched the "Red Skeleton Show", and I thought it must be spooky.)

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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      @Brandi Bush: I'm Honored for sure. Thank You for featuring my lens on your Patriotic Lens. For anyone reading this be sure to go to 'mamabush' lens and check them out. They are wonderful lens for sure. Just click on her picture to bring you right to her page of lens. It's that easy, just a click away.

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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      @HealthfulMD: Thank you for the visit and comment. Red Skeleton believed very much in the words to the Pledge of Allegiance and the meaning behind each word. It is surprising in this century how many citizens do not even know the words to the pledge of allegiance or the meaning of the Pledge. We must keep it going. Please share with all you can and Thanks for the comments and like.

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      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      Featuring this on my "Patriotic Lenses" lens. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving your comments there last week. :)

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      Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

      I've never heard this. Very moving. Nice to see Red Skeleton delivering a dramatic speech for a change.

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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      @Kailua-KonaGirl: I remember watching this on an old black and white Television. It is still a true blessing to remind myself of the meaning behind the Pledge Of Allegiance. I also get the goose bumps..

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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      @mbgphoto: Thank you for liking my lens. I like how Red Skelton breaks down the meaning of each word. It makes you realize to "Say what you mean and Mean what you say". My Father always taught me that also.

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      Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I have always loved this reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. Thank you for making it into a lens! Blessed

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      I too remember seeing this on TV. It was a different time then. I got goose bumps then and did again as I listened to the video. Thanks for the reminder. *Blessed*

    • mrducksmrnot profile image
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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      Thank you Tipi for liking my lens and sharing when you first heard Red Skelton on the Pledge. I agree with you, it is still just as powerful. Now I must pray that those who know the Pledge mean it with each and every word. I'm about ready for another lens, have the idea and working it out now. Be sure to check back often. Again Thank You for your continued likes.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I remember when Red Skelton first did the teaching on the Pledge of Allegiance. We always watched his show as a family, it was profound and we were all very quiet as he spoke with his sweet sincerity, it was powerful then and is every time I listen to it.

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