Ronald Reagan picture

Proclamation 5803—Loyalty Day, 1988

April 28, 1988

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Loyalty Day, May 1, is a day we set aside to promise allegiance to our country; to revere our heritage of individual freedom, limited government, and respect for every man's divinely bestowed dignity; and to reaffirm our sacred trust to preserve, for our children and for all generations to come, this blessed land of liberty we call America.

We Americans have both pledged and practiced loyalty from the moment the first patriots conceived the idea of a new and independent Nation where only freedom would reign—where people would live as free as God made them and where tyranny alone would never find welcome. We have given our loyalty generously, in times of peace and times of peril. That we will always do, God willing.

Loyalty Day says much about the meaning of our country. In other parts of the world, as we know, totalitarian states proclaim May 1 a day of fealty and require a show of loyalty from the people. No such demand is needed here, of course, because in America we are blessed to be able to govern ourselves; "We the People" are in charge, and we need give our loyalty not to self-appointed rulers but to liberty.

The self-government that protects our rights and liberties has been won and defended in each generation by loyal Americans. That remains true, of course, of our gallant service men and women at home and in a hundred foreign climes. It is true as well of every American in home or office, in factory or farm, in hall of government or place of worship, who calls upon the Author of Liberty to guide and bless our land; of every citizen who cherishes brotherhood and patriotism; of every boy and girl who begins the day with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

The allegiance we Americans owe, and give gladly, on Loyalty Day and throughout our lives, is to a land and an ideal that beckon human hearts today just as always, here and around the globe—the land of the free, where the only command and the only loyalty are freedom's way and freedom's sway.

To foster loyalty and love of country, the Congress, by joint resolution approved July 18, 1958 (72 Stat. 369; 36 U.S.C. 162), has designated May 1 of each year as "Loyalty Day."

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 1988, as Loyalty Day, and I call upon all Americans and patriotic, civic, fraternal, and educational organizations to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies. I also call upon all government officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings and grounds on that day.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5803—Loyalty Day, 1988 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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