One Nation, Indivisible

a postage stamp of skinny metal
[with name and address there embossed]
to slip between a toddler’s teeth
so tiny corpses don’t get lost:
my country loves to scare her own
near witless – keep ’em docile, coast
to coast [so no one dare to pick a bone]
as mute as if they’d seen a ghost;
there was a time [pre-Syngman Rhee]
we didn’t need Poseidon’s clan –
we pledged allegiance, you and me,
sans Allah, Abba, Peter Pan;
inserting “god” in fact defied
our constitution to the letter –
Hitlerean* the claim god’s on our side…
I frankly liked the old pledge better;
patriot I am – although I choose
a rugless life beyond the pews

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Nazi military emblem: Gott mit uns – god with us

In 1952 New York City bought and distributed 2.5 million dog tags. Kindergarten to fourth grade kids had a tag with their name on it. Many other cities did likewise – San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas and Philadelphia. Between Korea and the threat of a Russian sneak attack…(plus ça change…)

1892
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
1892 to 1922
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
1923
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States and to the republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
1924 to 1954
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
since 1954
“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.

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