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Red Skelton

The Pledge of Allegiance
(Introduced on the Red Skelton Show on January 14, 1969)

We had just finished reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and he [Mr. Lasswell, the Principal of Vincennes High School] called us all together, and he says, “Uh, boys and girls, I have been listening to you recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester, and it seems that it has become monotonous to you. Or, could it be, you do not understand the meaning of each word? If I may, I would like to recite the pledge, and give you a definition for each word:

I -- Me; an individual; a committee of one.

Pledge -- Dedicate all of my worldly good to give without self-pity

Allegiance -- My love and my devotion.

To the Flag -- Our standard. “Old Glory”; a symbol of Freedom. And wherever she waves, there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts “Freedom is everybody's job.”

of the United -- That means we have all come together.

States -- Individual communities that have united into 48 great states; 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided by imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that’s love of country, of America.

And to the Republic -- A Republic: a sovereign state in which power is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern; and the government is the people; and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands

One Nation -- Meaning "so blessed by God."

Indivisible -- Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty -- Which is freedom; the right of power for one to live his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.

And Justice -- The principle and qualities of dealing fairly with others.

For All -- For All. That means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.

Now let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:

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 I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said, "That is a prayer" -- and that be eliminated from our schools, too?

Red Skelton was a great comedian, Shrine Clown, and human being. We could all learn a lot from him. A "Pledge" is something to take seriously, as he points out. Another pledge he obviously KEPT was to make people smile... in his memory, we should strive to do the same.

THE FOLLOWING WAS RETYPED from the Oct/Nov 97 issue of "Clown Alley"

Noble Red Skelton was born into a circus family on July 18, 1913 in Vincennes, Indiana two months after the death of his father who had been a clown with the Haggenbach and Wallace travelling shows. Red was raised by his mother in the love of the circus people who were to become his first real family, leaving an imprint on him that he would carry throughout his life, bringing happiness and laughter to millions.

At age 10, Red joined up with a travelling medicine show. From there, minstrel and tent shows, circuses, burlesques, Mississippi show boats, vaudeville, radio, motion pictures and television were to become his home. It was as a star in in over 48 motion pictures and television that Red was to achieve his greatest public acclaim. His TV career spanned a record twenty consecutive years and his shows were always rated among the top ten in the United Sates.

Red's lesser known but equally outstanding accomplishments include the writing of nearly 5,000 musical compositions, including 64 symphonies, many of which have been played and recorded by Arthur Fiedler, Van Cliburn, David Rose, the Las Vegas Symphony, the Palm Springs Desert Symphony, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Noble Red has authored more than 4,000 short stories and full length books. His Skelton's "Pledge of Allegiance (above) has won 42 awards and has twice been read into the Congressional Record.

In addition to being an accomplished entertainer, Noble Red is acclaimed as one of his century's greatest painters. His original oil paintings are displayed exclusively at Center Art Galleries, Honolulu, Hawaii, where they have been received with great acclaim by art critics and collectors from all over the world.

Evocative of a bygone era, Red's clowns are welcome guests in homes worldwide, where you are continually reminded that the appeal of these fine character studies knows no bounds. Collectors include the rich and famous and those for whom the ownership of a painting by Red Skelton is the fulfillment of a lifetime dream. Past ISCA President John Whipple has a number of original paintings.

While all artists attempt to capture emotions in their works, Red has succeeded in doing so to a degree unique in contemporary history. We are all reminded of happier days, no matter which generation of fans we belong to. It hardly matters if we first saw Red perform, in the vaudeville of the thirties, in the films of the forties and fifties, on night club stages in the sixties, college stages of the seventies, or on HBO in the eighties, Red has been part of all of the lives of we ISCA clowns, and his painting and graphics allow us to be sure that he will be our guest in our homes for years to come.

Picasso once said that he had spent his entire life trying to recapture the innocence and sensitivity of a child.

Red Skelton never lost it.


Red Skelton has wholeheartedly been behind the Shriner's Hospitals for many, many years. Most of our Hospitals have received his clown artwork and have it displayed for all to enjoy. Through his skits and artwork, the clowns of the International Shrine Clown Association have been inspired. No matter where you go across North America, clowns of the ISCA are doing their version of Red's comedy work.

Many of us have been fortunate to be invited to entertain at Red's birthday parties and what an inspiration he has been to all of us. Lot of Red's donated artwork, books, memorabilia, music, etc, have been auctioned in some fashion or other, with the proceeds contributing to the ISCA Sneaker Fund of which Noble Red is an Honorary Member. The International Shrine Clown Association has been in the habit of contributing over $250,000 every year to the Shriner's Hospital Research Program through the Sneaker Fund, and we thank Red for his part in our contributions.

Good bye Red from all your fellow Noble clowns of the ISCA.

Good nite, Good bye and God Bless.

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