The Red Skelton Show, named after the star comedian, was one of the most popular television shows of the 1960s. People expected to be entertained, and this program never failed to deliver. On occasion, the directors would shift their focus to more serious subjects, and this video is one such example.
The meaning behind the words used in the Pledge of Allegiance was chosen as the topic for this particular monologue. The show’s host recalls a day when he was in school and one of his teachers taught him a lesson he would never forget.
Red recounts how his teacher was dissatisfied with how often the pledge was repeated. He wanted the kids to fully comprehend what they were saying. His teacher’s comments clearly had an impact on him because he can recite that speech word for word now, many years later.
What was fascinating about the speech was that the teacher provided each term with a literal definition. Simple definitions included stating that a state was a collection of towns split by imaginary lines but united in purpose. Red’s teacher then went on to discuss more complicated concepts, such as how the flag is a symbol of freedom wherever it proudly stands.
Red’s teacher then requested the students to recite the promise after outlining these crucial terms. One can only imagine how their perspective on the vow would have shifted as a result of their newfound understanding.
His speech would be inspiring to any nationalist. Red’s message is unmistakable. Power comes from knowledge. Our youngsters require more than reciting. They must comprehend why things are the way they are and why some things are inviolably sacred. That is the only way we will be able to generate independent-thinking adults.
If Red Skelton’s performance touched you as well, please share his video with your friends.