Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: One Nation, One Flag, No Hyphens


“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. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as 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… We intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality… We have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.”
Theodore Roosevelt, address to the Knights of Columbus at Carnegie Hall in New York (12 October 1915)

We’ve heard conflicting arguments over what America is and who should be welcomed. I think Teddy Roosevelt’s statement makes a compelling case. America is a land of awesome wonders that millions have died for. It is not founded on a single ethnic or religious group, but a founding set of documents. If you swear to be an American, and to uphold the constitution, you are welcome here, no matter where you are from.

But you must be an American. The only way a nation like ours can survive is if we all acknowledge the same American flag and founding. To divide the country into blocs is to risk civil war. Identity politics for one group leads to identity politics for all groups. States will turn on each other, cities would strive against rural areas, etc. There should be no competition with America in the social-political level of loyalty. TR gave this speech at the Knights of Columbus, I’d imagine he’s not telling them to renounce God for America. God is above all countries – we swear the pledge of allegiance to one nation, under God.

In essence, immigrants are welcome to join the United States of America. They just need to leave their hyphens at home.

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  1. Vectorman Thatcher

    OmegaPaladin: TR gave this speech at the Knights of Columbus, I’d imagine he’s not telling them to renounce God for America.

    Roosevelt was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. During large stretches of his life, he was unable to physically find a church to attend. He often attended Episcopal services, as his wife was an Episcopalian. He once said:

    To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular Church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any Church, is an outrage against the liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.

    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. There are only 5 open days left on the November Signup Sheet, including Sunday this weekend! We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #1
    • November 14, 2019, at 3:14 AM PST
  2. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Great quote and useful reminder of the difference between the Original Progressives, who were nationalists and insisted upon assimilation and the New Progressives, who are globalists, anti-nationalist, and anti-assimilation.

    • #2
    • November 14, 2019, at 6:47 AM PST
  3. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    My personal rule is that *only* naturalized immigrants may choose to hyphenate. 

    • #3
    • November 14, 2019, at 8:37 AM PST
    • 1 like
  4. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    My vote for the Best Quote of the Day Ever.

    • #4
    • November 14, 2019, at 12:30 PM PST
  5. Stad Thatcher

    OmegaPaladin: In essence, immigrants are welcome to join the United States of America. They just need to leave their hyphens at home.

    I’ll add “. . . and come here legally.”

    • #5
    • November 14, 2019, at 12:33 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. The Reticulator Member

    It’s interesting that Roosevelt seemed to moosh together the topics of 1) assimilation and 2) allegiance. But I guess it was not the only time and place in history where some people said assimilation and allegiance go hand in hand, and others said they didn’t.

    • #6
    • November 14, 2019, at 12:37 PM PST
    • 1 like