Friday, February 09, 2007


Teddy Roosevelt on being an American A friend recently sent me a disgusting post about a high school flying a foreign country's flag atop our American Flag, and concluded with a great quote from a hero of mine, Teddy Roosevelt. As I always do, I check the "urban legend" web sites for the facts. True enough. It happened in March 2006. But the Roosevelt quote was mis-quoted as being from a speech in 1907.
"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." -Teddy Roosevelt 1919
From my Urban Legend source: Theodore Roosevelt indeed wrote these words, but not in 1907 while he was still President of the United States. The passages were culled from a letter he wrote to the president of the American Defense Society on January 3, 1919, three days before Roosevelt died. I would that I am as passionate about America on my death bed. Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah P.S. If you have not already done so, please rent The Wind and the Lion. A mostly fictional account, but extremely entertaining with great reverence for Teddy and my U.S. Marine Corps. tag:
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