Reluctantly, I Alter My Pledge of Allegiance

Wes Stephenson

I am an active member of community service organizations and of youth development groups where I have the opportunity to renew my pledge of allegiance to our republic on a regular basis. While, for some, The Pledge may have become a rote recital, I have always felt a weight of duty associated with these vows of citizenship and I often ponder the connotations of these lines. After long consideration, I have been brought to the point where I find it necessary to alter the words of The Pledge in order to maintain genuine and sustainable intent as I commit devotion “to the Republic for which it stands.”

You see, within my own heart and mind, the republic for which the flag stands is becoming more and more defined by its history than by its current condition. As the Republic shifts from being a protector of individual liberty and a defender of free enterprise to take on the characteristics of socialistic and totalitarian governmental systems I resolutely oppose, my pledge to support that version of the Republic will naturally lose its sincerity. I will follow the founding principles of my nation to the grave; but I will NOT abandon those principles in order to maintain a pledged allegiance to a Republic hijacked by contrary and self-destructive ideologies. I have, therefore, made a slight but distinct alteration to the pledge I take upon myself as I address the flag:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it ONCE STOOD; one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

My allegiance is to the flags of Fort McHenry and of Iwo Jima; flags that defied oppression of the State with the cry for individual liberty. It has become impossible to hold allegiance to the Republic for which those flags stood while vowing to support the morphed values to which the current incarnation is turning. That would be pledging allegiance to a moving target.

So, as today’s misguided civic and social leaders, cheered on by many of my fellow-citizens, seek to trade freedom for security; as they vilify the free market system and begin its piecemeal dismantling; as heavier taxation becomes the only cupboard to which our leaders can think to turn for social solutions; as my liberty is removed from me bill by bill, executive order by executive order, and through onerous regulatory code after arbitrary regulatory code; and as our natural compassion is mandated by nationalized compulsion, I will recognize that this Republic is becoming a traitor to me, to my posterity, and to itself – betraying the constraints and principles of its own constitution to the harm of those it was designed to protect. When the Republic that IS strays too far from the Republic it once WAS, those who stand with hand over heart must choose which version will hold their allegiance.

The Republic that I believe in is sustainable – the Republic that has now stumbled from its own proven path is patently unsustainable. And so my revised pledge is not focused on mere nostalgia, but binds me to a continued commitment to bringing lasting benefit to the current and future Republic whose hopes for enduring prosperity and for domestic tranquility depend on a return to the limited government and individual liberty for which the honored flag of The United States of America has, heretofore, stood: Free markets operated by a free citizenry; freedom of thought, expression, and belief even when these become out of step with the devolving accepted order; and with the government once again constrained to within the proper limits of the constitution.

I pledge my allegiance to that grand Republic. May God mend her every flaw.