Today, more than ever, we must restore the motto and restore the pledge.

The ancient art of war, divide and conquer, says divide the people and they will destroy each other. But, how do you divide a nation like the United States whose foundational motto from its inception is one of unity: “E Pluribus Unum — Out of Many, One,” a unifying motto that gave my immigrant parents, and so many others, the hope and will to travel by boat across the Atlantic, a guiding principle, that out of many different races, cultures and religions we can unite as one people.

So, how do you divide a country with that sacred motto? You simply change the motto, as done in 1956 when our foundational unifying motto was changed to “In God we Trust.” Does that sound like a unifying motto for a pluralistic society? Of course not. How many can explain what that means and have we honored that trust?

To dismantle our national unity, the pledge to the flag had to change, as well.

You can’t divide a country if the people declare their unity every time they salute the flag by affirming, “One Nation Indivisible.” So, in 1954 the Pledge of Allegiance was changed to, “One Nation Under God.”

How any strict constitutional interpretation could allow for this violation of the First Amendment is the question.

One wonders what part of the first phrase, of the first sentence, of the First Amendment one finds confusing: “The Government shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion...”

Restore the motto: Out of many, one. Restore the pledge: One nation, indivisible. Let’s never forget that we are the owners; and truly, united we stand, divided we fall.

Joseph Colella, Mentone