Faculty Research: Dr. Mark Smith writes on the Pledge of Allegiance for the Austin American-Statesman

Dorothea Lange pledge of allegiance

Have you read today’s Austin American-Statesman? If not, check it out for a new op-ed piece by Dr. Mark Smith about the history of the Pledge of Allegiance – a history that extends back to the late 19th century.

We’ve printed an excerpt below and the full piece is available here.

The Pledge of Allegiance is thus our pledges of allegiance. It has always symbolized, as Bellamy intended, the union of a nation of different nationalities, religions and regions into one strong and cohesive whole. It stood for the vision of Bellamy’s hero, Abraham Lincoln, of one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

But, as time has passed and we face continuing crises, we have defined the nation in increasingly narrow political terms and have used the pledge to symbolize these political views. Today, there are two movements from the right and left to amend the pledge: the first, which ends “liberty and justice for all, born and unborn”; and the other, which inserts Bellamy’s original “equality, liberty and justice for all.”