A leftist case for patriotism

July 4th, 2004 – 8:24 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

On this Independence Day, here’s an article about some of the many American radicals and progressive reformers who were proud to also call themselves patriots.

Most Americans are unaware that much of our patriotic culture — including many of the leading symbols and songs that have become increasingly popular since September 11 — was created by writers of decidedly progressive sympathies.

For example, the Pledge of Allegiance itself was originally authored and promoted by a leading Christian socialist, Francis Bellamy (cousin of best-selling radical writer Edward Bellamy), who was fired from his Boston ministry for his sermons depicting Jesus as a socialist. Bellamy penned the Pledge of Allegiance in 1892 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America by promoting use of the flag in public schools. He hoped the pledge would promote a moral vision to counter the climate of the Gilded Age, with its robber barons and exploitation of workers. Bellamy intended the line “One nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all” to express a more collective and egalitarian vision of America.

[via Atrios]

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