I Pledge Allegiance to the Earth
I first created and published the Earth Pledge poster in 1992, 29 years ago. It has had an extraordinary shelf life. It was ahead of its time, which just means that although there were plenty of people back then who appreciated its meaning, there are more of them now. It has become increasingly difficult to ignore human accountability in the health or sickness of environmental systems that sustain life as we know it. And even though we, especially we as individuals, don’t exactly know how to change our ways, recognizing our responsibility is a step in the right direction.
I got the idea for the Earth Pledge poster from a postcard a friend sent me. He was running a small alternative school at the time. The postcard had a child-illustrated alternative pledge of allegiance on the front. An alternative pledge for an alternative school. I liked the idea and asked for permission to use the idea with my own wording.
When you make anything and put it out into the world, you get the chance to see first-hand how one item elicits many different opinions.
This poster has had its admirers and its detractors.
Since the traditional US Pledge of Allegiance shows up mostly in schools, the Earth Pledge has been popular with teachers who wanted to offer their students an alternative to God-appropriated, God-justified nationalism. New Hampshire and Maine Veterans for Peace used it on their high school book cover project (they offer free book covers to counterbalance those provided by the US military).
One woman who owned the kind of store where I usually sold my wares told me she could not carry the poster or notecard because it said “the Earth” instead of just “Earth” which she insisted was the correct name of our planet.
In 2012 a thread titled Found in a high school classroom opened up on Reddit/Atheism after someone posted a photo of the Earth Pledge poster. It was brought to my attention by a sudden spate of orders. In reading the thread I found out that my poster had been used more than once in 2009 by Glenn Beck to show exactly what godless liberal teachers foist upon their innocent…