PostHeaderIcon A Real Pledge Of Allegiance

Every day, in classrooms, in civic club meetings, in political functions, in many other settings, people rise, face the United States Flag, and recite the Pledge Of Allegiance. What are they pledging allegiance to? The U.S. flag, of course.

Please understand, I admire the flag, I respect it, I try to practice correct flag etiquette, and I think it is the most impressive of all the national flags. But I don’t see why I owe it any allegiance. After all, it is nothing but a symbol. For sure, it is a symbol of a country I love and that I call home. But it remains nothing but a symbol. Admiring it makes no direct contribution to my liberty – indeed, recent misguided attempts to make flag burning illegal seek to actually diminish my liberty.

(As an aside, this proposed law has always amused me because the “correct” way to retire an old, faded or damaged flag is to burn it. Yes, after separating the Union from the Field but burning is the prescription of the day. Were such a law to be enacted, would we then see cadres of Boy Scouts being hustled off to jail after each flag retirement ceremony? But, I digress.)

As I said above, a flag is a symbol, but what are flags typically symbolic of? Down through history, they have served several purposes, most always related to war:

→ Flags serve as a rallying point for troops during combat,

→ Flags serve as symbols of defiance (such as the “Come and Take It” flag used during the Texas Revolution,

→ Flags serve as symbols of conquest (such as the flag raising at Iwo Jima),

→ Flags serve as symbols of territorial sovereignty (such as the flags that fly over our government buildings to indicate said buildings are on U.S. territory).

Each and every example above is an example of symbolism that, in itself, really does not indicate much – in my mind, certainly nothing worthy of unwavering allegiance.

As I write this, the U.S. continues its headlong surge toward dictatorship. Should that dictatorship come to reality, do you expect the flag will change? I don’t. Will you then have unwavering allegiance for what it represents? I certainly will not.

I submit that, to the extent we teach our young anything worth learning, teaching them to pledge their allegiance to a symbol whose meaning is inconstant, is yet another example of encouraging what I call “muddy thinking” – thinking that does not lead to a clear understanding of a fact that is worth knowing.

Imagine with me for a moment, a different scenario. Imagine that every day, in classrooms, in civic club meetings, in political functions, in many other settings, people rise, face the United States Flag, and recite a pledge that begins “I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America”.

Is there a difference? You bet there is. In the first place, our Constitution is not a symbol, instead, it is a body of concepts, that, if strictly adhered to, will do more to promote universal human liberty than any other concept to come from the minds of men (and from the women who, no doubt, influenced them).

If U.S. citizens were constantly reminded that their allegiance is to our Constitution, and the accompanying responsibility to defend, protect and obey it, might things be on a different tack?

Think about it.

Troy L Robinson

10 Responses to “A Real Pledge Of Allegiance”

  • ◄Dave► says:

    I’m not so sure. The pledge is not just to the symbol; but “to the republic for which it stands.” Yet, not one in a hundred sheeple know the difference between a republic and a democracy. Give our Marxist public schools a few more years and the increasingly dumbed-down citizenry will be absolutely convinced that our Constitution is “living” and will mean whatever the fools in Washington D.C. currently decree it means. It would be like serfs pledging allegiance to the penal code. I would gladly pledge my allegiance to the original Constitution and Bill of Rights, as intended by our Founders at the time they composed them; but most of the mischief done to it since 1913 – amendments and judicial fiat alike – not so much. /rant off

    Otherwise, good post, Troy. 🙂 ◄Dave►

    • Troy says:

      I did not mean to suggest the pledge is a symbol, it is the flag that is symbolic, ergo, somewhat lacking in substance. What if my new pledge now begins:

      “I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America and to the Republic it has created.”

      Is that better now?

      Thanks for your observations,

      Troy

      • ◄Dave► says:

        Happy Flag Day. It is also the aniversary of my discharge from the US Army in ’66! 🙂

        I understood what you meant, and I meant the same thing. The pledge is not just to the symbolic flag; but to the country it represents. My point was that the meaning of our Constitution has become subjective and somewhat amorphous because of political activist judicial fiat – not unlike a penal code frequently updated by legislative action. What I might intend by pledging allegiance to it could be very different to what a Progressive might intend, yet we both could be quite sincere.

        No one is a stronger defender of our Constitution than me; but truth be told, the Constitution you and I would be anxious to pledge allegiance to no longer exists and is unlikely to ever exist again. Our idylic federation of sovereign republics died with the Civil War, and the Bill of Rights has been steadily eroded ever since. It doesn’t even occur to most citizens to assert those rights. E.g. even putative Patriots routinely apply for CCW permits from government functionaries, when the plain meaning of the Second Amendment established that bearing of arms is a right of all free citizens, not a privilage requiring a license.

        I view the Pledge as a loyalty oath to our country vs any other country. Like our Founders, I reject the notion of “dual citizenship.” E.g. one cannot at the same time be a US Citizen and a British Subject. Pick one, but our laws do not allow for both. We fought the War of 1812 with Great Britain over this very subject.

        That said, it does seem a bit ridiculous to have to repeat said pledge daily. When little children are required to learn it by rote long before they can comprehend its language, it becomes a rather meaningless ritual. Changing the object of the pledge from our flag to our oft misinterpreted founding document probably would not correct this. ◄Dave►

  • Daedalus says:

    I like it Troy.
    Much better than the flag pledge with its socialist origins.

  • Troy says:

    Sorry if I pushed your buttons. I merely had the idle thought that a pledge to the Constitution makes more sense. Not that any of it matters. I hope you appreciate that I only write this stuff in an attempt to keep my aging mind active. I long ago gave up any real hope for the nation and I never had the slightest idea that anything I said would make any difference.

    Of course we do allow dual citizenship in America now, whether you approve or not. It came about at the demand of American Jews who wished to also be citizens of Israel.

    I have a spooky feeling lately – rather like some animals before an earthquake where they sense something bad is about to happen but are unsure exactly what or when.

    Meanwhile, here I sit, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Troy

    • ◄Dave► says:

      You didn’t push any buttons. I’m not sure why I spent so much time pondering and responding to the suggestion. I suppose I miss the old days when we kicked such things around a bit; but I was by no means agitated about your suggestion. It just gave me an excuse to think.

      I concur with your feeling of intrepredation. I think the global economy is about to come unraveled – and soon. Watch Greece and the stock market. I am hearing suggestions that gold may go to $5K an ounce before this is over. Be sure your pantry is full. Buckle up and good luck. ◄Dave►

      • Troy says:

        Like you, I miss the give and take we once enjoyed. I found that I learned more trying to explain/defend my positions than from any other method. Could it be that the subjects at hand have simply become too “real” to be the subject of such banter as we once enjoyed?

        If gold goes to $5K per ounce, I will become a “wealthy” man with no real wealth because all the real value in my life will have been destroyed. But, it will not matter to me for very long as I depend on medicines to keep me alive. In case of a general collapse, I suspect I would not have very long to suffer, because I doubt my pharmacy would be able to deliver my medications at any price. That is just as well with me.

        Troy

  • jim steel says:

    Sir: Good comments….in addition I have a problem with the term “indivisable”in the pledge. Seems back in the day it was the ‘several’ states and they were a loose confederation as long as the fed suited their needs,interests and provided for their common defense among other criteria. Nowhere was the thought that if the confederation was destructive to to the interests of the ‘several’ states that it was a unretractable deal, rather the confederation was a contract, valid as long as there was performance on the part of the fed. NIX the word ‘indivisable’ it will never roll off my lips…..

  • jim steel says:

    Indivisible, I promise to write indivisible twenty times in a sentence for my above spelling transgressions…..

  • Troy says:

    Jim Steel, I agree with you. It seems obvious that the entities that formed the union have an equal right and power to dissolve it if they so desire.

    Put simply, the original notion of a federal government in the States was to serve the needs of the States and the people, not the other way around.

    As Mr. Jefferson said most plainly, when any government becomes destructive to the ends for which it was formed, it is the responsibility of the governed to cast it off and to form a new government more suited to their purposes.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Troy

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