Views on Nationalism

May 12, 2008

The US flag

Referring to the recent suspension of three teenagers for not “standing” (yes standing) for the pledge of allegiance. There are a lot of different angles you could come at here.  You could play the whole religous role – since the word “God” is in the pledge of allegiance maybe receiting this is offensive towards your religious beliefs. Or, you could take the freedom of speech approach (the very thing our country is built on).  These students have a right not to say the pledge of allegiance.  Well I am not going to take that angle either.

What about the message itself. The message that we believe in our country, our heritage and for all of those people that have (and continue) to fight for our freedom.  That is a very strong message and I think that it gets lost a bit in the current rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance.  If you were not aware – the pledge of allegiance has changed a lot over the last 150+ years.

Maybe we need to change the words a bit.  Update them so that our youngsters can understand them better.  I propose changing from this:

“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.”

to this:

“I am wicked proud of the country I live in. All my peeps and I are a member of at least one of the groups found on Facebook when searching for ‘United States of America’.  We aren’t too fond of war but we respect those that fought and ioho we are as thankful as our non conforming minds will allow.”

On a more serious note: My true belief here is that a student in the US today has the “right” (and I use this term loosely) to not recite the Pledge of Allegiance (you should think twice about either leaving or running for office as soon as your turn eighteen) – but you are required to at least stand and show respect for the rest of us that believe in and love the country we live in today.

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6 Responses to “Views on Nationalism”

  1. Heather Penner Says:

    The only time in my school life that I had to say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning was Kindergarten. We said it sitting down, BTW, and the kids who were not Citizens didn’t have to say it.

    My mother taught me to be silent during the “Under God” section (simply skip those words).

  2. Amy Says:

    I agree with you, to me.. it’s just a sign of respect. I think I had to say until high school. I don’t remember reciting it then. But, I do remember doing it in junior high when most people would just mutter the words.. and whatnot. At that age, kids are just thinking .. why why why do we have to keep doing this?!

    I think as an adult, it hits you more on what the words actually mean, then when your a child and forced to recite them.

  3. mikull Says:

    Men fought and died for what we have today. Sure, it might suck in your mind to stand for it – and it’s plausible to think that you have the right not even respect it — but overall, I don’t think it’s hurting anyone to at least mock respect, when in other countries people are killed for much, much less.

    We have a social responsibility to maintain our beliefs and define our democracy – not rebel through snarky complacency. Unless of course you add “wicked” to it. Then I’m getting surly.


  4. Excellent post. I still get goose bumps when I hear the Pledge and I am 34 years old.

    As a Marine who has traveled to a 3rd world country, I can tell you that most people who have an issue with reciting the Pledge have never traveled to less fortunate countries. They can’t comprehend the benefits of living in freedom.

    Take them to Iran, Somalia or N. Korea and I am sure they will then appreciate the flag, the Pledge and this Nation.

  5. notronwest Says:

    Mikull,

    hopefully you were not pointing that “it might suck in your mind to stand for it…” at me!

    I strongly feel that we should stand in honor of the flag. Respect it – dammit!

  6. mikull Says:

    Not at all – I was appealing the cynical audience. Everyone has the right to love it or hate it – our freedoms are the best things we have as a nation.

    Now, some people might think the problems we have justify an act of defying the pledge – and perhaps hypocritically, they can follow this train of though; but overall I am in firm belief that we should respect every freedom we have and the people who made and make it so !!


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