From The Red Skelton Hour, CBS TV, January 14, 1969
copyright 1969 Richard Red Skelton
Red Skelton: “I remember this one teacher. To me, he was the greatest teacher, a real sage of my time. He had such wisdom. We were all reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance and he walked over. Mr. Lasswell was his name… He said”: “I’ve been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge Of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word:
Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
My love and my devotion.
To the Flag
of the United
That means that we have all come together.
Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.
And to the Republic
Republic — a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And 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.
Incapable of being divided.
Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one’s own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.
The principle, or quality, of dealing fairly with others.
For All — which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine. And now, boys and girls, 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 would be eliminated from schools, too?”
Red Skelton’s recitation of the pledge of allegiance is available on DVD as part of the Red Skelton Christmas DVD.