This Was John Wayne’s Patriotic Explanation Of The Pledge Of Allegiance

By July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress passed the Declaration of Independence, solidifying the American colonies’ separation from British rule. Today, Americans use the holiday to reflect on just how we got there, and John Wayne once outlined his views on an important part of modern American life, the Pledge of Allegiance.

His opinions can be heard on his spoken-word album, America, Why I Love Her. It explores many topics important to the country – and by extension, important to the Duke himself.

The Duke reflects on America, why I love her
Before audiobooks, musicians dabbled in the art known as a spoken word album, a recording of material that is not sang – though can often have some sort of subtle rhythm or musicality to it, not unlike poetry. Wayne released one such album of his own in the early 1970s that bears particular importance for Independence Day.

The tracks are derived from patriotic poetry penned by actor John Mitchum. Of his work, Wayne would admit, “John Mitchum thinks like I think and writes like I wish I could.” That is why he was drawn to it, so his recorded audio of it might spark “a little bit of rapport between everybody in our country.”

Wayne wanted to outline how he sees America and the importance of the Pledge of Allegiance
From around when they start school, Americans learn the solemn vow with hand over heart, gaze to the flag. They recite words with roots reaching back to 1885 courtesy of Civil War veteran Colonel George Balch, with additions made to reflect changing times.

In the views of John Wayne, the Pledge of Allegiance is an important “thank you” to what he called “a land forged by hot steel of courage” where “freedom of worship is a cornerstone of her being… A land graced with temples and churches, synagogues and altars that rise in profusion to embrace all the religions of the world.”

Wayne titled the eighth track of America, Why I Love Her after the Pledge of Allegiance exactly and uses the words of Mitchum to express gratitude to the country where “freedom of choice is the guide for all.”

The full recitation reads as follows:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag”

What do those words mean to you?

To me they say, “Thank you, America, for your strength

Your courage and for our freedom…

Which has been a beacon to the world for two hundred years.”

“Of the United States of America”

Whose bright stars are fifty states…

Each bearing its own stamp of individuality.

People… Two hundred million strong…

People who have come to her from all corners of the earth.

“And to the republic for which it stands”

A land of laws… With an ingenious system of checks and balances

That allows no man to become a tyrant…

And lets no group prevail… If their power is not tempered

With a real concern for the governed…

A land where the right of dissent and of free speech is jealously guarded…

Where the ballot box is the sword… And the people its wielder.

“One nation under God”

A land where freedom of worship is a cornerstone of her being…

A land graced with temples and churches, synagogues and altars…

That rise in profusion to embrace all the religions of the world.


A land forged by the hot steel of raw courage…

And formed forever… By the awful crucible of civil war.

“With liberty”

Where man in pursuit of an honest life will not be denied his chance…

Where her citizens move freely within her vast borders without hindrance or fear…

A land brimming with opportunity…

Where freedom of choice is the guide for all.

“And justice”

The courts of our land are open to all.

Its wheels of justice grind for all causes… All people.

They look to every avenue for justice… Every concern of the law…

And they temper their reasoning with mercy…

“For all!“

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