One Nation, Indivisible


Last updated 6/15/2022 at 6:02am

Some of us grew up reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school every day. The words “one nation, indivisible” are a potent memory. Are those words history?

The thirteen colonies declared their independence from England on July 4, 1776. Congress adopted the name “United States” on September 9, 1776.  In 1777, they designated June 14 as American Flag Day. The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution were ratified in 1791.

It is surely probable that the writers of those amendments would have been stunned by the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared burning the U.S. flag is freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.

We haven’t always adhered to our indivisible pledge.  We very nearly lost our indivisible and united status when our ancestors abandoned those concepts to engage in a brutal Civil War that still provides unsettled issues. But having survived that challenge, our country lived up to our ideals during two world wars and the Great Depression.

On our 245th flag day, we, again, have politicians promoting divisiveness, attempting to divide the country for political and personal gain. George Washington, our first President, said in his 1796 Farewell Address: “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

One Nation Indivisible.  I want to recite those words again and believe what I am saying.

Jack Stevenson is a retired infantry officer, civil service and private corporation employee who now reads history, follows issues important to Americans, and writes commentary from his home in Pensacola, Florida.


Reader Comments(1)

Carol Schoning writes:

There are several very important words of the pledge of allegiance I pledge ALLEGIANCE (loyalty or commitment) to the flag of the UNITED(joined together politically for a common purpose) states of America and to the REPUBLIC (a Government where the supreme power is held by the people and their elected officials and president not a monarch) for which it stands, one nation under GOD,INDIVISIBLE (impossible to be divided) with LIBERTY(being free within a society of oppressive restrictions) and JUSTICE(fairness and rightness in the treatment of other people)for ALL.(the total of every single one)! Everyone should know this, for many years it was recited by every school aged child, every school day of their lives. I am 75 and just typed this from memory. Did I understand the meaning as a kid (only that it was an important part of being an American). Do I understand it now yes it is an ingrained part of who I am and I think about different parts at different times. It is kind of a guideline to being an American. I FEEL VERY SAD THAT MANY OF OUR YOUNGER CITIZENS WILL NEVER KNOW THIS PLEDGE.


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