Purpose and Meaning of US Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, and National Anthem

Purpose and Meaning of US Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, and National Anthem

There are three elements of our national fabric to consider: The US Flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the National Anthem.

The US Flag is a portrait or symbol of national identity, national loyalty, and national unity.  Both the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem recognize these aspects of the US Flag.

The US Flag is also a portrait or symbol of our national commitment to liberty and justice for all the nation’s citizens.  To me the National Anthem is less, if at all, about such internal national commitment but more about national unity against external forces.  However, the Pledge of Allegiance is clearly explicitly about such internal national commitment.

The Pledge of Allegiance says “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.”

For a history of the Pledge of Allegiance including adding of the phrase “Under God” see Pledge of Allegiance at VA.GOV

Notice the presence of the phrase “with liberty and justice for all” in the Pledge of Allegiance. The historical record of our nation shows that this phrase represents a goal as it is a work in progress.

The Flag, Anthem, and Pledge communicate to non-citizens that we do and will stand together when attacked by foreign (external) nations/entities. They communicate that all foreigners are to know that we will stand together even though we are not a perfect union. Therefore, people of all races, even slaves, have fought for this nation in its wars.

Yet, in spite of oneness against foreign forces, we are to be mindful that internally we are a work in progress and we need to continue in that work. We are to do so as one Nation under God.

Race and Racism Government

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