No, The Pledge Of Allegiance Is Not Normal

No, The Pledge Of Allegiance Is Not Normal

No, The Pledge Of Allegiance Is Not Normal

In late June, the city council of St. Louis Park, Minnesota voted to remove the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance from the regular order. President Donald Trump tweeted about it, naturally. The mayor of the city wants the council to reconsider, naturally. And, naturally, some leftwit nimrod has an article in the publication The Week saying that the recitation of the our national pledge is not normal. And, I agree.

The writer, Bonnie Kristian’s second paragraph reads:

I live just a few miles from St. Louis Park and was surprised to learn of this onslaught of sedition, which despite the apparent gravity of the situation is not exactly dominating local news. It turns out the “siege” in question is rather less dramatic than Trump’s tweet suggests: The city council unanimously decided to stop reciting the pledge at the start of its meetings. Not everyone who participates in city business is a citizen, noted one council member, so they shouldn’t have to “pledge their allegiance to our country in order to tell us what their input is about a sidewalk in front of their home.” Some people are not pleased with this choice, and the president is among them.

Again, I agree. If you are not a citizen, there should be no requirement that you say a loyalty pledge to our nation. It would be lovely if you stood up as a sign of respect. That doesn’t seem to onerous. When I am in a house of worship for a different faith, I bow my head and pray a Christian prayer. What I do in my own head is my own business, but at the same time, I am not disrespecting people of another faith.

Miss Kristian’s third paragraph:

This anger over removing constant performance of a loyalty pledge to our national flag from a mundane gathering of local government is not surprising. But it should be, because the Pledge of Allegiance is not normal. It feels normal to Americans, yes, because most of us spend 13 years of primary education saying it weekly, if not daily. But that too isn’t normal — at least, not by global standards (India is a rare exception), and especially not for countries with even a pretense of democracy.

Just to be clear, I don’t give a fig what any other country does. Boom! I am a citizen of the United States of America, not France, Spain, Italy or Denmark. If no other country has a loyalty oath, well, bully for them.

Miss Kristian thinks that it is creepy having young children reciting words that they don’t understand. I don’t think it’s creepy at all. And, no, very young children don’t have a clue what they are saying and the results can be hilarious. “I led the pigeons to the flag.” “And, to the public for Richard Stands.” These are two of my favorite mondegreens. That has never stopped parents from teaching songs, prayers and poems to small children.

The National Anthem is another bugaboo for the perpetually offended Miss Kristian. Bonnie, calm down. It’s okay. Now, let me tell you why I agree that the Pledge of Allegiance is not normal and that makes me so proud.

The United States of America was born as an idea. The idea of individual freedom and the rights of self-determination. What my parents are/were need not define me. I am free to choose my own destiny.

The United States of America was not born perfected. We are always becoming. And, as a Southerner, the words of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” give me chills every time I hear them. I love that song and what it represents. Julia Howe, an anti-slavery advocate, wrote the war song in 1862, long before the outcome for our Republic was assured. Listen to the words:

Doesn’t that make you proud to be an American. We fought a Civil War to save the Republic and answer the question of slavery for all time. We still haven’t solved all of the issues regarding that “peculiar institution” but the Republic still stands.

We stand for the flag, not because it is a flag, but because of the ideals the flag represents.

We sing the National Anthem because it reminds us of the birth of our nation. “Gave proof through the night that the flag was still there,” is important because armies guide on the flag. As long as you can see the flag, the battle is not lost.

We recite the Pledge of Allegiance because the flag is a visible symbol of our ideals. Those ideals that we aspire to, but have not yet achieved. We recite the Pledge of Allegiance because that flag covers the caskets of those who have died for those ideals. Miss Kristian, if you get out of your own self-important, little head, you might see the bigger picture.

Pledging allegiance is not normal. I love it. But, then, I think normal is highly overrated.

Photo credit: Flag draped coffin at Joint Base Pearl Harbor/Hickam by TSgt. Michael R. Holzworth/Public Domain

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  • Paul says:

    “…in order to form a ‘more perfect” union..”

    We aren’t perfect and knew it from the beginning, A work in progress.

  • Hate_me says:

    “Mondegreen…” good word.

  • GWB says:

    Not everyone who participates in city business is a citizen
    And why should that have any impact on all of the citizens in the meeting? Particularly the council members?

    a loyalty pledge to our national flag
    Ultimately, this is a bit of projection from the commies/fascists. None of the folks I grew up with considered it a “loyalty oath” in the typical totalitarian meaning of that word. We were already loyal to our country because we loved her and wanted her to prosper. The PoA was just a way of demonstrating that patriotism (without having to have a singing voice or a recording) and reminding ourselves of that.

    Of course, new citizens swear an actual “loyalty oath”. One much more profound than the PoA.

    The real problem here is that so many folks upset by these things are anti-American globalists. They want to do away with citizenship altogether, and unite us under one world gov’t. Which has a nice sound to it – peace, unity, a single tax form – until you realize the sorts of people who would be running the place (look at who’s on the UN Human Rights Council – exactly the face I made, too; ooh, and I have a matched pair of those fingers, just like you!).

    If we had a way to display our patriotism – which should be pretty profound, since we’re still the best damn place on Earth to be a citizen, or even a non-citizen – we wouldn’t need pledges and anthems. We wouldn’t need Proud To Be An American, or this sort of thing from John Wayne, or America The Beautiful, or Grand Old Flag.
    But we *are* PROUD of our country, and we express it in poetry and statements and speeches and songs, partly because we want to encourage others to love her. And, yes, we want to be able to separate out the people who do NOT. If they don’t actively try to tear her down, we’re ok with them being an ungrateful ass and sitting on their hands. But, if they try to break her, or corrupt her, or change her into something much less marvelous than she is… well, then, buddy, we gonna have a talk.

    Hey, it’s their city and city council. If enough people feel strongly about it, they’ll vote those folks out come next election. If not, fine.
    But, understand: we tire of the anti-Americanism and will eventually cut you loose, free to find your own way. Trust me when I say that you’ll only know what you’ve got when it’s gone.

    • Josh says:

      How is a citizen “impacted” or harmed because other people don’t say the pledge? Every argument you give is in favor of making the pledge compulsatory? You lowkey raise JQ when you say anti-american globalists
      Look I get it reactionaries, alt-right, stupid peoppe who agree with them, I get where you’re coming from, bur do you seriously not have the self-awareness to think nobody knows who you are? To think nobody dissagrees with you?

  • GWB says:

    One more….
    Look, if you want to do away with the displays of patriotism, then also do away with all the love songs. Burn all the love poetry. Eliminate the “kiss cam” or whatever they call it at ballgames. (OK, you can do away with that one, anyway.) Outlaw wedding ceremonies and receptions.

    Because patriotism is love. It’s just love for something you can’t hold and you can’t really take to bed with you at night. Though you certainly can hold the symbols: a flag, a bit of soil, a picture of the Grand Canyon. Just like you take a symbol with you when you go where your loved can’t be – a picture, a ring, a lock of hair.

    And, just like my wife or sweetheart, I’ll tolerate a bit of disrespect. But you step over a line, and you’re going to regret it.

    • Josh says:

      So you like jingoism, other people like normal kinds of love. So you’re okay if we get rid of both. Cool, but to do that we have to make it unprofitable to profit off of sex, and we have to get rid of pop culture…the only countries who don’t contribute to global pop culture are communist.
      Come along with me
      and the butterflies and bees
      We can visit Marx and Lenin
      And do so as we please

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