A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
Entry in progress—BP (10/1)
Entry in progress—BP (10/1)
Entry in progress—BP (10/1)
Entry in progress—BP (10/1)
Entry in progress—BP (10/1)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from April 02, 2022
“One nation, under guard, invisible” (Pledge of Allegiance mondegreen)

The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States has been recited by millions of school children, and many of them say the wrong words. These mishearings or misinterpretations are called “mondegreens.” Some popular ones are these:

“I pledge a legion to the flag...” (1925)
“I led the pigeons to the flag...” (1965)
“I pledge a lesson to the frog...” (1984)
“I pledge a lesion to the flag...” (1988)
“And to the republic for Richard Stans...” (1924)
“And to the republic for Richard Sands...” (1936)
“And to the republic for Richard Stands...” (1939)
“And to the republic for Richard Stanz...” (1962)
“And to the republic for witches dance...” (2005)
“One nation, invisible...” (1925)
“One naked individual...” (1930)
“One nation and a vegetable...” (1936)
“One nation in a dirigible...” (1957)
“One nation, under guard, invisible...” (1960)
“One Asian, in the vestibule...” (1984)
“With liver tea...” (1942)
“With little tea and just rice for all” (1984)


Wikipedia: Pledge of Allegiance
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of allegiance to the flag of the United States and the republic of the United States of America.
(...)
1954
(current version, per 4 U.S.C. §4)
“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.”

Wikipedia: Mondegreen
A mondegreen /ˈmɒndɪɡriːn/ is a mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase in a way that gives it a new meaning. Mondegreens are most often created by a person listening to a poem or a song; the listener, being unable to hear a lyric clearly, substitutes words that sound similar and make some kind of sense.
(...)
Among schoolchildren in the US, daily rote recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance has long provided opportunities for the genesis of mondegreens.

Newspapers.com
9 October 1924, Daily News (New York, NY), “Bright Sayings,” pg. 19, col. 3:
My little daughter, attending kindergarten, was taught who George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were. Later, at the dinner table, she asked: “Daddy, who was Richard Stans?” After I told her I did not know and asked her where she heard of him, she commenced to recite:

“I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the country for Richard Stans.”
J. BAORSTER.
1337 Clay ave., Bronx.

Newspapers.com
22 May 1925, The Jewell County Monitor (Mankato, KS), pg. 2, col. 2:
At a recent 8th grade examination held in Woodson county the pupil was asked to write the flag salute. One youngster wrote thusly:

“I pledge a legion to the flag and to the Republican for which it stands. One nation invisible with liberty and injustice for all Amen”—Yates Center News. 

Newspapers.com
4 July 1930, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), “Patriotism by Rote, pg. A-6, col. 3:
In another case a child reciting the “Salute to the Flag” was substituting for the words “One Nation Indivisible” the shocking picture of “One Naked Individual,” while another, with some vague memory of the Lord’s Prayer, was adding “With Liberty and Trespass for All.”

Newspapers.com
27 February 1936, Fairview (OK) Republican, pg. 4, col. 7:
PLEDGE
The following is the Oath of Allegiance as given by Mack Jackson.

“I pledge a legion to the flag and to the republic for Richard Sands, one nation and a vegetable with liberty and justice for all.”

Newspapers.com
9 March 1936, Wichita (KS) Eagle, pg. 4, col. 3:
A Kansas schoolboy wrote the following version of the pledge of allegiance to the flag: “I pledge a legion to the flag of the United States and to the Republican for Richard Sanda; one nation and a vegetable, with liberty and justice for all.”

Newspapers.com
22 April 1938, New Castle (PA) News, “Some Unusual Ideas Written For Teachers,” pg. 7, cols. 3-4:
“I plege a legion to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for Richard Sands one nation and a vegetable with liberty and justice for all.”

Newspapers.com
23 April 1939, Kansas City (MO) Star, “Motion Picture Reviews,” pg. 1D, col. 4:
MY little girl, Babs, stood facing Old Glory. She was big-eyed and shrill with the realization of a great emotion as she gleefully chirped the Pledge of the Flag (recently learned from her school ma’am):

“I pledge allegiance to the flag,” she trilled, “and to the republic for Richard Stands—.”

Then, looking over her shoulder, she threw me a smile and a parenthetical explanation: “Richard Stands isn’t a real little boy, Daddy—he’s just in there.”

Newspapers.com
2 October 1942, San Francisco (CA) Examiner, “Spelling as S. F. Pupils ‘Learn,’” pg. 10, col. 8:
(From an article by Wilber W. Raisner, social science teacher in San Francisco’s junior high school system.—ed.)
“‘Allegiance’ seemed to have no meaning to them, as though it was a new word they were trying to figure out. It became “alleggenst,’ ‘a legion,’ ‘a legence,’ ‘a legents,’ ‘a legeaus,’ ‘a legia,’ ‘a ledgon,’ ‘allegen,’ ‘a ledges,’ ‘alegene,’ ‘a lead gent,’ ‘a lerongence,’ ‘the leaguesnt.’”

“‘Republic’ became ‘republice,’ ‘rerpuplication,’ ‘republican,’ ‘public,’ ‘replies,’ ‘republect.’ ‘For which it stands,’ in one case, became ‘for richard stands.’

“‘Indivisible’ was ‘invisible’ to many, ‘individual’ to several, and ‘in the visible’ to others. It was also ‘investable,’ ‘indivial,’ ‘intervisabel,’ ‘ensivible’ and ‘indivinual.’

“‘Justice’ was ‘justed,’ ‘justest,’ and ‘justice for all’ was ‘just is for all’ and ‘just a far off.’”

Newspapers.com
21 October 1942, The Daily Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), “Letters to the Editor,” pg. 6, col. 3:
AS SHE HEARD IT
(...)
“I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the republican for which it stands; no nation indivisable with liver tea and justice to fall.”
-- MRS. G. LEIH.
Aurora, S. D.

May 1944, The Parents’ Magazine (New York, NY), “Out of the Mouths of Babes,” pg. 107, col. 1:
JERRY, just starting third grade at school, came to me with a puzzled frown. “Mother, who is Richard Stands?” “I never heard of him,” I said. “Where did you meet him?” “Well, I never met him,” he said, “but ever since I’ve been in school we stand up every morning and say, ‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for Richard Stands.’”

Newspapers.com
24 February 1957, Sunday Cal-Chronicle (Allentown, PA), “Tips from Shopping Sherlock,” pg. 29, col. 2:
Our first grader reciting the Pledge of Allegiance: “One Nation In A Dirigible.”

Newspapers.com
26 April 1959, The Palm Beach Post-Times (West Palm beach, FL), “In One Ear” by Joe McCarthy, The American Weekly, pg. 25, col. 3:
A LITTLE GIRL came home from the first grade asking questions about a man named Richard Stands.

“Richard Stands?” her mother said. “I never heard of him.”

“He must be somebody very important,” the little girl said, “because when we salute the flag, we say, ‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for Richard Stands.’”

Newspapers.com
12 November 1960, La Crosse (WI) Tribune, “CANDID CAMERA’—Gary Plays Little Boy In Guest Role,” Showtime sec., pg. 3, col. 3:
“Best of all, I (Gary Moore—ed.) relearned the pledge to the flag.”

“I discovered that it goes like this: I pledge a lergence to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republicans for which it stance. One nation, under guard, invisible with liverty and justice for all.”

Newspapers.com
19 November 1962, Cincinnati (OH) Enquirer, “Talk Of Our Town” by Bob Otto, pg. 9, col. 2:
SOUNDS AND SIGHTS: A grandfather we know relates that his kindergarten grandson asked, “Dad, who’s Richard Stanz? We talk about him in school every morning.” Dad was baffled until the tyke said: “Here’s how we do it: ‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for Richard Stanz.’”

Newspapers.com
11 November 1963, The Rockland County Journal News (Nyack, NY), “Nine Score And Seven Years Ago,” pg. 9, col. 1:
“Who is Richard Stans?” the schoolboy asked his mother. “He must be very important, because every morning we pledge allegiance to the flag and to the republic for Richard Stans.”

Newspapers.com
28 November 1964, The Record (Hackensack, NJ), “The Phrase Stands; Recitation Is Not Compulsory” (editorial), pg. 30, col. 1:
“One nation under guard, invisible” is a common variation, and not unusual are phrases that sound like “One nation undergirt” and “one nation ungotten, visual”.

Newspapers.com
11 July 1965, Charlotte (NC) Observer, Kays Gary column, pg. 1B, col. 2:
The Very End
The Harold Rhodes’ 3-year-old Dorabeth, now living in Largo, Fla., has been practicing her patriotism. Current project is memorizing the Pledge of Allegiance. Progress slow. It always comes out as, “I led the pigeons to the flag.”

OCLC WorldCat record
One naked individual : my fifty years in the theatre
Author: Cheryl Crawford
Publisher: Indianapolis : Bobbs-Merrill, ©1977.
Edition/Format: eBook : Document : Biography : English

Newspapers.com
9 October 1977, Miami (FL) Herald, pg. 4-B, cols. 1-5:
One Nation, Under Guard, Invisible, With Liver Tea...
By ANNE WILDER

27 May 1979, New York (NY) Times, “On Language: I Led the Pigeons to the Flag” by William Safire, Magazine sec., pg. 13:
The most saluted man in America is Richard Stans. Legions of schoolchildren place their hands over their hearts to pledge allegiance to the flag, “and to the republic for Richard Stans.”

With all due patriotic fervor, the same kids salute “one nation, under guard.” Some begin with “I pledge a legion to the flag,” others with “I led the pigeons to the flag.” This is not a new phenomenon. When they come to “one nation, indivisible,” this generation is as likely to say “One naked individual” as a previous generation was to murmur, “One nation in a dirigible,” or, “one nation and a vegetable.”
(...) (Col. 2.—ed.)
What is this mistaken hearing called?
(...) (Pg. 14, col. 3.—ed.)
I prefer “mondegreen.”

Google Books
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
By Bette Bao Lord
New York, NY: Harper & Row
1984
Pg. ?:
“I pledge a lesson to the frog of the United States of America, and to the wee puppet for witches’ hands. One Asian, in the vestibule, with little tea and just rice for all.”

June 1987, Good Housekeeping (New York, NY), pg. 76, cols. 1-2:
ONE NATION
AND A VEGETABLE
When children learn the Pledge of Allegiance, they often stumble upon phrases like “On nation indivisible”—with hilarious results. Here are more of their creative interpretations of the familiar. By Ralph Keyes
Our first-grader recently learned the Pledge of Allegiance and one day he happily recited it for us:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for Richard stands—“

“Wait,” we said. “Who’s Richard?”

David looked puzzled. “I don’t know,” he replied shrugging. “That’s just the way it goes.”

I’ve since discovered that David is part of a great American tradition: mislearning the Pledge. The New York Times columnist William Safire once suggested that “Richard Stans” is the most saluted man in America (others say it’s actually “Richard Sands"). Safire also reports that many small children think they’ve “led the pigeons to the flag,” but many simply “pledge a legion to the flag.”

As long as children have learned recitations and songs, they have been doing it in creative ways. During debate on a bill to require Illinois schoolchildren to recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily, Assemblyman Alan Greiman confessed that until the end of grade school he was sure the line “one nation, indivisible” was “one nation, invisible.” (The bill passed nonetheless.) Another variation teachers sometimes hear is “one nation and a vegetable.”

Theatrical producer Cheryl Crawford remembered her own childhood interpretation of this line for so long that half a century later she titled her autobiography One Naked Individual,

Newspapers.com
18 September 1988, News Tribune (Fort Pierce, FL), pg. F5, cols. 1-6:
Sometimes they pledge a lesion to the flag
Dick Schmidt

27 November 1989, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, pg. A19:
The Republic For Richard Sands
By Arthur Hoppe

Newspapers.com
11 November 1994, The News Journal (Wilmington, DE), “The Family Circus” comic strip by Bil Keane, Weekend Entertainment Guide, pg. 26, col. 6:
(A young boy is pledging allegiance to the flag.—ed.)
“...one nation, under guard, invisible...”

New York (NY) Times
14 April 1996, New York (NY) Times, “On Language: I Led the Pigeons to the Flag” by William Safire, sec. 6, pg. 68,col. 2:
William Safire has written On Language for the Magazine since 1979. he selected the column adapted here as a favorite.
(Originally published on May 27, 1979.—ed.)

Newspapers.com
15 June 2005, Des Moines (IA) Register, “The Family Circus” comic strip by Jeff and Bil Keane, pg. 5E, col. 4:
(A young girl is pledging allegiance to the flag.—ed.)
“...and to the Republic for witches dance...”

Google Books
Mondegreens:
A Book of Mishearings

By J. A. Wines
London, UK: Michael O’Mara Books Limited
2012
Pg. ?:
‘I pledge a lesion to the flag...’
‘I led the pigeons to the flag...’
‘I pledge a lesson to the frog...’

(...)
‘And to the republic for Richard Stans
Once naked, under God, in the vestibule’

‘And to the republic for Richard Sands
One Asian, under God, in a dirigible’

‘And to the republic for witches’ dance
One potion, under guard, invisible’

(...)
‘With liver tea and dresses for all’
‘With Libby’s tea and just us four small’
‘With little tea and just rice for all’


Reddit—Childtheories
Posted by u/huperdude18 January 18, 2018
“And to the Republic, for Richard Stanz”
This one came from my sister many years ago, but is apparently a pretty common one for kids.

When saying the pledge of allegiance in school, my sister (probably in kindergarten or 1st grade) came home one day and asked my parents who Richard Stanz (Stans? idk how it should be spelled) was. They were obviously confused, and asked her to explain; she replied with the quote in the title, and my parents busted up laughing. We still make fun of her for it almost 20 years later.

(For those not from the U.S. - the pledge of allegiance has a line in it that goes “...and to the Republic, for which it stands...”, which my young sister misheard/misunderstood and confused for what sounded like some man’s name.)

Reddit—Shittyaskscience
Posted by u/RoburLC April 29, 2019
Who is Richard Stanz?
We pledge allegiance to the flag / ... / and to the republic for Richard Stanz

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Saturday, April 02, 2022 • Permalink