In the United States, allegiance isn’t a common word these days, except when speaking of the pledge to the Flag. Still, it’s one of those “mighty” words that people use to stake out their beliefs. If we reflect on its meaning, we’ll probably find ourselves thinking about other mighty words like loyalty, devotion, and perhaps even freedom.
The problem with allegiance, of course, is that the very moment we stake out our claim we can find ourselves in conflict with someone whose set of values differs from our own. For me, that’s why the United States Constitution ranks so high among the written records of human history. It certainly is not a perfect document, and its goals have not always been perfectly achieved. But in laying down its general purposes of establishing justice, social tranquility, common defense, general welfare and liberty, even in its imperfection it was able to plant the seeds for future realization of its lofty goals for everyone and not just a few.
If we are going to revitalize among our citizens an appreciation of the Constitution, it’s time to take a positive step toward that goal. I propose that in addition to the Pledge to the Flag, we need a Pledge of Allegiance to the Constitution. I humbly submit the text below and I invite you to disseminate it as far and widely as you wish. If it’s meaningful to you and to others who value that sacred document as I do, this idea just might catch on. I have separated it by line for the sake of suggesting where pauses should occur when recited by groups.
Happy 4th of July. I pray God to bless the United States of America and every peace-loving nation on earth, along with each and every person of goodwill.
I pledge allegiance to the Constitution
of the United States of America;
recognizing that legitimate government
arises only by consent of the governed,
that the Founders of this nation limited the scope of federal power
in order to guarantee Liberty for all citizens;
to the defense of these truths
I pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor.