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WHAT IS AMERICANISM?

    
Americanism is the unfailing love of country; loyalty to it's institutions and ideals; eagerness to defend it against all enemies; undivided allegiance to the flag; and a desire to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

The definition of "Americanism" was promulgated by the Commanders in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, United Spanish War Vererans, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, the National Commanders of the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans of the World War at a conference held in Washington in February 1927.

Loyalty To It's Instituitions
A loyal American defends the ideals and goals of the Constitution, and stands against any enemy who would betray those values; all enemies, foreign and domestic. One's loyalty to country is doing what is best for the citizens of that country first and foremost; to follow the laws and be ready to defend any harm that might come and to keep order. To do what is uppermost important for the well being of it's people and resources, always keeping its citizens in mind before others. The Forefathers defended those rights and passed it down to their children.

Love Of Country
The love of one's country is showing patriotism, respecting the people in the country and showing respect towards what it stands for.

Ideals
Though the concepts of democracy and self-government existed since the times of ancient Greece, the specific versions of these ideals that influenced the American founding fathers were developed during the Enlightenment, a 17th - and 18th - century European intellectual movement. French intellectuals such as Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau wrote works that emphasized the importance of democracy and self-government, which influenced future generations such as the founding fathers of the United States.

It was Thomas Jefferson who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, which not only established the United States as independent from Great Britain, but also emphasized certain ideals of democracy and self government. As the document states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Such ideals were also enshrined in the Constitution and in the Bill of Rights. When James Madison sought to ensure the Constitution's ratification, he encountered resistance from various state governments, who argued that they needed further guarantees of individual civil rights. Thus the Bill of Rights - the first ten amendments - was created, enshrining such rights as freedom of speech, petition, right to assembly, and jury, among others, and passed along with the Constitution.

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Allegiance
To have an allegiance means to be loyal, and have a committment. The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of allegiance to the Flag of the United States and to the republic of the United States of America. It was originally composed by Colonel George Balch in 1887 and later revised by Francis Bellamy in 1892. Congress formally adopted it as the pledge in 1942. The official name of "The Pledge of Allegiance" was adopted in 1945. The last change in language came on Flag Day in 1954 when the words "under God" were added.

Congressional sessions open with the recital of the Pledge, as do many government meetings at local levels, and meetings held by many private organizations. It is also recited in schools at the beginning of every school day.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.", should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces not in uniform and veterans may render the military salute in the manner provided for persons in uniform.