The Pledge of Allegiance, in it original form, was written by Francis Bellamy, at the behest of Daniel Sharp Ford, who was bent on selling American Flags to Public Schools at exorbitant rates. From the start it is evident that the pledge was born not from patriotism but from monopolism.
The original text,
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,
makes no allusion toward God, despite being written by a Baptist Minister (defrocked), Francis Bellamy. The mention of God was later added by Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower, at the behest of various pressure groups, none of which were particularly nefarious. I guess adding the words “Under God” somehow makes this tainted prose more American. Go figure. Regardless, the pledge incorporates the ideas that the pledgee is an American by necessity rather than choice, that the symbolism of the Nation is more important than the substance or principles of it, that individuals owe everything they are and they have to the collective known as the Nation, that states are not sovereign and that self-determination is unethical. It may even be debated what precisely is meant by ‘Liberty and Justice’ when used by such a man as Bellamy.
Francis Bellamy was an avowed socialist*, a proponent of civic religion, not unlike what was instituted as worship of “reason” or the “state” to be found during the First French Republic just prior to the Reign of Terror, and an apologist for the tyrannies and lies of Lincoln, by Lincoln, and for Lincoln. He was also a cousin to Edward Bellamy, a Socialist novelist. Both men were heavily affiliated with Freemasons, which were considered by most Orthodox Protestant Sects to be highly suspect if not outwardly heretical. So much for being a minister.
The original salute to the flag, also created by Bellamy was based on the old Roman gesture of unconditional fealty to the Emperor. Similar (or rather, identical, both in appearance and in purpose) salutes were later incorporated into the civic religions of Italian Fascism and German National Socialism. The American version of Seig Heil was not dropped until 1942, for the obvious reasons, by the progressives running the public schools who didn’t want to be perceived as Fascists, the perception which would be the logical conclusion arrived at by any clear-headed individual who might have observed, in combination with this induction into the imperial cult of young children, the Economic, War, and Propaganda policies of the Roosevelt Administration and the Nationalistic Idolatry left over from the early Progressive Era, of which Francis Bellamy, along with the likes of John Dewey (who provided the education model for the European Fascists), Theodore Roosevelt (who provided the governing model for the European Fascists), and Woodrow Wilson (who provided the propaganda model for the European Fascists) were chief proponents.
So the next time you are at a gathering with a bunch of ignorant, but well-meaning Flag-worshippers, don’t be afraid to sit down or leave the room in protest. And don’t be surprised if I do the same. For me, this is more than just my anti-statism coming through, though I would think that would be more than enough reason to object to the practice of reciting the pledge. I am a religious guy. I don’t like bowing down to graven images. Nor am I a fan of blasphemy, which is exactly what it is to add “under God” to this vile incantation. To paraphrase The Most Interesting Man In The World, “I don’t always take the Lord’s name in vain. But when I do, I prefer to say “God Damn”.
*Bear in mind that Socialists and Fascists, in practice, are really not all that different. The world’s best known Fascists all started out as Socialist, or remained so throughout their lives. And those Socialist Dictators that we are familiar with, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Chavez, seem to have taken as many pages from Mein Kampf as they did Das Kommunistische Manifest.