Growing up in New Jersey, we recited the United States Pledge of Allegiance each and 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 United States 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 a whole 17 states that do.
You might be surprised to find out that your state actually does have its own pledge considering most of the states that do have their own pledge don’t actually recite them every morning. Here are the states that have their own state pledge and their respective 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.”
Did You Know Yours?
While it’s true that all 17 of these states have their own state pledge, none of these pledges are actually recited each morning like we recite the United States Pledge of Allegiance, with one exception.
Apparently, 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 USA, 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, but I guess I’ll 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 seem to be born with. Texas has always considered itself a bit separate from the rest of the United States, and there’s certainly some history to that. And, if you’ve been keeping up with the news in 2020 and 2021, you’d know that there might be a future to it as well.
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 9 years. The Texas Revolution, at the end of which Texas declared its independence from Mexico, ended in 1836. Texans even celebrate Texas Independence Day every year on March 2nd. While the newly formed Republic of Texas applied for annexation that very same year in 1836, they weren’t actually annexed by the United States until 1845. During those years, United States 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 the tension.
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 almost an entire 9 years when Texas was a fully independent country.
The Texas Pledge History
Given the interesting history of the Republic of Texas, it’s no surprise that Texas has its own state pledge. In 1933, the Texas legislature passed a law establishing the proper rules for the display of the Texas flag (which identified the “Lone Star” flag as the official state flag) and the reciting of the Texas pledge. Originally, the 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 with the addition of “one state under God.”
Calls for Texit
Since about 2005, it seems like a large portion of Texan citizens wants to go back to the days of being an independent nation. It seems like every year, calls for independence make national headlines. However, because of this past year’s presidential election in which Donald Trump refused to concede to President Joe Biden, Texas’ threats of succession (which they’re calling “Texit” as a play on words of 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 succession of Texas has been around since about 2005 and possibly earlier. This year, however, it seems to have a whole lot more weight to it. 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 their state pledge either way.