Friday, June 19, 2009

I haven't done THAT in a long time

Last night I had occasion to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I have to admit that I was pleased with both the fact that I remembered all the words and the unexpected occurrence.
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
It was fascinating to me that I remembered the words of the pledge, written by a socialist minister in 1892, changed in 1923 to reflect the name of our country and in 1954 to illustrate that America is not a communist country. (You can find a brief history of the Pledge here.) And I was more than a little bit frightened that I could recall the words and body language from my days as a school child when I had no appreciation of what it meant - when it was mere indoctrination.

I suppose I should be happy that I was never taught the Bellamy salute!

Having that muscle memory could prove quite horrifying.

So why, when I was taught the Pledge as a bit of nationalist indoctrination and as it now reflects the establishment of our country as a theocracy, would I be pleased with the occasion?

As an adult, I recognize the flag to be a symbol of what makes America great. It represents the tremendous efforts and outstanding achievement of our Founding Fathers in creating this nation based not on bloodlines, money, religion, or might, but on individual rights. I left out the hex ("Under God" added to ward off the evil of communism) and recited the rest with gusto.

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