The Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas Flag has existed largely untouched since the 1933 adoption of the Texas Flag Code. Now, State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Houston) seeks to make the first substantive changes to the pledge in more than seven decades by adding the words, “state under God” to the pledge. If her House Bill 1034 were to pass, the pledge would be:“Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God and indivisible.”
As every good fourth grader knows, Texas was once a Republic. And, we still behave like we are a whole other country sometimes.
That aside, the reason the Pledge doesn’t include the word “state” in it is that it is an homage to the fact that we were once an independent nation and that, more than just any old state, we are, simply, “Texas.”
We don’t need a state religion, either, even if it is one so seemingly-universially subscribed to in Texas as Christianity. Adding this to the constitution is just not appropriate.
The pledge is a piece of state history and, aside from the flag, is one of the longest-standing unchanged symbols of the state that is more meaningful than a bluebonnet, pecan, mockingbird, or the fifty dozen other items that lawmakers have ordaned as the “official state…” (amphibian, mammal, native pepper, native shrub [no, it’s not George W. Bush]…hot link, paperclip…) whatever. You get the idea).
In an age when our offical state symbols have become more tourist icons and regional gimmies, we still need something that’s not a commercialized, culturalized sell-out to hold on to.
And that, my friends, is the Pledge.
If Texans of the 1930's, an era that I'm sure was no less religous than our own, saw fit to draft a pledge the uses neither the words "state" nor "God", then neither should we. The pledge was good enough for them, and it's good enough for us. Leave it alone.