Monday, October 12, 2015

Francis Bellamy, the man who inoculated children against radicalism

On October 12, 1892, the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, children in schools across America recited for the first time, "The Pledge of Allegiance."

Since then, liberals have done everything they could to stop children from pledging allegiance to our flag -- and to the Republic for which it stands. They have mocked it. They have ridiculed its adherents. They have misrepresented it. They have angrily tried to ban it.

That is because the Pledge of Allegiance is a threat to their anti-American, racist, atheistic, hateful, and ugly doctrine of nihilism and communism, which they have tried repeatedly to foist upon this great land. It is the final six words that they fear the most: "With Liberty and Justice for All."

Over the years, liberals have tried to co-opt its author as one of them. But Francis Julius Bellamy actually wrote the Pledge as an inoculation against those who would undermine America by instilling in our children a spirit of patriotism and loyalty to America.

Also, it was a way to sell flags. You do not get much more capitalist than that.

Born on May 18, 1855, in Mount Morris, New York, Francis Julius Bellamy for a while suffered the delusion of being a Christian socialist. He wrote a book in 1888 that predicted the end of capitalism by 2000. It is as accurate as climate change predictions.

However, by age 40 he outgrew these notions and became an advertising executive.

His actual politics were more Republican than anything else. He ran for governor of New York as a member of the Prohibition Party; temperance along with abolition were the founding principles of the Republican Party, and his family also was abolitionist. While he believed in fair wages and reining in the excesses of capitalism, that is mainstream Republican thinking as well.

Bellamy was nine when his father, a Baptist minister, died. His mother moved the family to Rome, New York, where Bellamy showed academic prowess. He enrolled in the University of Rochester, studying theology and became a Baptist minister.

But at age 36, he sought employment as the ministry does not pay well. One of his parishioners, Daniel S. Ford, hired Bellamy to work in the premiums department of the "Youth's Companion," a nationally circulated magazine which Ford owned. Bellamy's job was to sell flags to schools.

Ford tasked Bellamy with writing a pledge to the nation that could be recited in 15 seconds, which children could easily memorize and recite. Not only would this instill a patriotism in children, but such a pledge would sell flags. Capturing and distilling the essence of America were a tall order, but he did a good job.
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Over the years, the word "to" was added before "the Republic" as were the words "under God" in 1954. Likewise, the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution changed "my flag" to "the flag of the United States of America" in 1923 for clarity's sake.

The language Bellamy used was adult. Instead of country, which children usually say, he used Republic. Indivisible, too, is not a word children are familiar with. Using these words required children to give them greater thought.

He chose his words carefully, later recalling, "Just here arose the temptation of the historic slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, 'Liberty, equality, fraternity'. No, that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all."

Bellamy deliberately opposed using "equality" in the Pledge. As for not including "under God" in the original, likely it never occurred to a Christian minister that anyone would think otherwise.

Ford published the Pledge in the September 8, 1892, issue of "Youth's Companion." Its popularity spread like a prairie fire. In the first year, Ford sold 26,000 flags thanks to Bellamy's Pledge. There was a desire, especially among legal immigrants, to endear their children to this great land. Indeed, Bellamy viewed the Pledge as an "inoculation" against the "virus" of radicalism.

Clearly, by 1892, Bellamy was no longer was a socialist. He had grown up. He later left "Youth's Companion" to become an advertising executive, spending nineteen years in advertising in New York City. The industry was just taking off as billboards, neon lights, double-page color ads in newspapers, and radio commercials came into being. He believed in high pressure advertising, and saw advertising as very important to increased commerce and business. As he neared his retirement age, he moved to Florida, but remained in the advertising business.

Over the years, liberals have tried to link the Pledge to Hitler, as if Bellamy had somehow invented pledges. At the same time, they cling to him in an attempt to maintain control of the interpretation of his words.

Bellamy died at age 76 on August 28, 1931, in Tampa, Florida. May his Pledge and the Republic for which it stands live forevermore.


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  1. It seems he did not do as well as our educrats and academics do in teaching leftism later.

  2. Unfortunately, Bellamy didn't understand America and hadn't lost all his socialist notions. Americans do not owe their allegiance to the flag or to the nation, except as they continue to be physical manifestations of the Constitution. Americans owe their allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America. Should the Republic no longer be governed by the Constitution, should the Flag be that of a nation not true to the Constitution, no American owes either allegiance and should make such their enemy.

    Years ago, I changed my pledge when saluting the flag to:

    I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America and to the Republic that it governs, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.