I recently went to a gathering that included a reciting of the pledge of allegiance. After mumbling through the pledge by rote, I thought about the words. I realize there has been no small amount of controversy regarding the pledge in the last few years, but I hadn’t given it much thought until recently. The current version, which could probably be called version 1.1, reads as follows:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
To me, the “under God” part is not actually the most offensive part (although I agree with Newdow and others that it needs to go). No, I have an issue with pledging my allegiance to a piece of cloth instead of the principals behind that cloth. With that in mind, I wrote a new version:
I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America and to the republic that it formed. One nation, under law, with liberty and justice for all.
In my version, allegiance is given to the Constitution, and recognition that to the fact that it is the foundation upon which the United States was built. The “One Nation” part is retained, since it affirms that the U.S. is not a loose federation of independent states. “Under God” is replaced with “under law,” a freference to the notion that “we are a notion of laws, not men.” It’s hard to argue with the last phrase, “…with liberty and justice for all,” so that is retained as well.
I think it still needs a little refinement, but it’s closer to a pledge that I can make.