In this article:
- Most Americans remember reciting the U.S. pledge of allegiance every morning at school. But for Texans, that morning ritual looked a little different.
- Texas is one of 17 states that has its own state pledge of allegiance.
- Despite 17 states having state pledges, the Texas pledge is one of the only ones that actually gets recited every morning right alongside the U.S. pledge.
Growing up in New Jersey, we recited the United States Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school. We also said a pledge to the founder of my elementary school, Torey J. Sabatini — which is pretty weird in retrospect, especially considering I have no earthly idea who Torey J. Sabatini is. That’s a story for another day, though.
After talking to a friend of mine from Texas, I found out that certain states have not only the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, but also their own unique state pledges. After looking further into it, I discovered that New Jersey, unfortunately, does not have its own state pledge, but there are 17 states that do.
You might be surprised to find out that your state is counted among those 17, considering most of the states that do have their own pledge don’t actually recite them every morning. Here are the states on that list, along with their pledges:
“Flag of Alabama I salute thee. To thee I pledge my allegiance, my service, and my life.”
“I Salute the Arkansas Flag With Its Diamond and Stars. We Pledge Our Loyalty to Thee.”
“I pledge allegiance to the Georgia flag and to the principles for which it stands; Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation.”
“I pledge allegiance to the Kentucky flag, and to the Sovereign State for which it stands, one Commonwealth, blessed with diversity, natural wealth, beauty, and grace from on High.”
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the state of Louisiana and to the motto for which it stands: A state, under God, united in purpose and ideals, confident that justice shall prevail for all of those abiding here.”
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of Michigan, and to the state for which it stands, two beautiful peninsulas united by a bridge of steel, where equal opportunity and justice to all is our ideal.”
“I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God.”
“I salute the flag of the State of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.”
“I salute the flag of North Carolina and pledge to the Old North State love, loyalty, and faith.”
“I salute the flag of the state of Ohio and pledge to the Buckeye State respect and loyalty.”
“I salute the flag of the State of Oklahoma. Its symbols of peace unite all people.”
“I pledge allegiance to our State Flag, and to the Republic of which Rhode Island forms a part; one Union inseparable, with honor and reverence for both State and Nation.”
“I salute the flag of South Carolina and pledge to the Palmetto State love, loyalty and faith.”
“I pledge loyalty and support to the flag and State of South Dakota, land of sunshine, land of infinite variety.”
“Flag of Tennessee, I salute thee. To thee I pledge my allegiance with my affection, my service and my life.”
“Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.”
“I salute the flag of Virginia, with reverence and patriotic devotion to the ‘Mother of States and Statesmen,’ which it represents–the ‘Old Dominion,’ where liberty and independence were born.”
The Texas Pledge Is the Only One that Gets Air Time
While it’s true that all 17 of these states have their own pledge, none of them are actually recited each morning like we recite the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, with one exception.
The Texas pledge is the only one that’s actually said every morning, and that makes a lot of sense. Texans may have more state pride than any other state in the U.S., and any person that you run into who’s from Texas typically makes a point of letting you know they’re from Texas.
I’ve been to the Lone Star state and I thought it was really nice. Plus, it provided the perfect backdrop for Leatherface to perfect his talents in Texas Chain Saw Massacre. But I guess I’ll just never know just what it means to be Texan to the core.
We certainly don’t have nearly as much state pride in New Jersey, more of just a chip on our shoulders and a disdain for areas of the country with wide-open spaces.
The fact that the Texas pledge is said every morning in schools across the state represents the rebel spirit that all Texans take pride in.
Texas has always considered itself a bit separate from the rest of the United States — a tradition dating back to its successful battle for independence from Mexico in the 19th century and extending through its periodic attempts to secede from the United States after that.
The Roots of Texan Pride
If you’re not from Texas, it’s pretty easy to forget that Texas was its own country for almost nine years. The Texas Revolution, during which Texas fought for its independence from Mexico, ended in 1836.
Texans even celebrate Texas Independence Day every year on March 2. While the newly formed Republic of Texas applied for annexation that very same year of 1836, they weren’t actually annexed by the United States until 1845.
During those years, U.S. legislators were caught in a volatile political climate spurred on by debates about slavery, and they all feared that annexing the vast slave-owning region might exacerbate those tensions.
In 1845, just two days before the end of his term, President John Tyler signed the annexation bill. President James Polk, who took over after Tyler, encouraged Texas to accept Tyler’s offer, but they instead ratified the agreement and sent it back to Polk.
On December 29th, 1845, James Polk signed the bill and accepted Texas as the 28th state in the Union. However, let us not forget, there was about a nine year period when Texas was a fully independent nation.
The Texas Pledge History
Given the interesting history of the Republic of Texas, it’s no surprise that the Texas pledge not only exists, but also is recited regularly. In 1933, the state legislature passed a law establishing the rules for displaying the Texas flag — including identifying the “Lone Star” flag as the official state flag — and the reciting of the Texas pledge.
Originally, the Texas pledge began with the words: “Honor the Texas flag of 1836.” This was changed in 1965 due to the fact that the Lone Star flag was not actually the flag that was flown by the Republic of Texas in 1836.
Another revision to the Texas pledge was made in 2007 to add the words: “one state under God.”
Calls for Texit
Since around 2005, some Texans have started calling for a return to the days of being an independent nation. It seems like every year, calls for independence make national headlines.
However, when Donald Trump refused to concede the election to Joe Biden in 2020, Texas’s demands for secession — which they’re calling Texit as a play on Britain’s Brexit — seem a little bit more real in 2021.
Daniel Miller, president of Texas’ foremost independence movement, the Texas Nationalist Party has said that many Texans feel dissatisfied with the political establishment in Washington.
Texas House Representative Kyle Biedermann recently announced that he would be introducing the Texas Independence Referendum Act this year. If the bill passes, it would allow Texans to vote on whether or not they wish to reassert their status as an independent nation.
As I said, talk about the seccession of Texas has been around since it gained independence from Mexico. But this most recent call for independence seems to have a bit more weight to it in light of recent events.
Will this be the year that the Republic of Texas is reborn? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, though. Those Texans will keep covering their hearts, staring up at that Lone Star flag, and saying the Texas pledge either way.