Wednesday, October 17, 2007

State Pledge

Eric Zorn blows the lid off of the pledge industry. Turns out that not only is there a national Pledge of Allegiance, but several states (mostly in the south –go figure) have them as well. Texas even forces school children to recite theirs”
Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.
Yeah, OK, one more reason to never live in Texas.

The national pledge is silly enough and forcing kids to mindlessly recite it everyday accomplishes nothing. But a state pledge piled on top of that? Throw in the odd Moment of Silence™ and pretty soon the school day is over.

I think I'm stealing this from Chris Rock or somebody, but why do you have to repeat a pledge over and over again? It’s a pledge; say it once and you’re done. We don’t repeat our wedding vows every morning. Members of the armed forces only have to pledge loyalty once when they enlist. Christian denominations that have a confirmation ceremony only require it once. Need I go on?

But back to state pledges. Zorn invokes a bit of snark and suggests if Illinois gets a pledge it should begin, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of Illinois and the incompetence and corruption for which it stands...” And while that’s funny, some of the real pledges seem like parody:

Kentucky: I pledge allegiance to the Kentucky flag, and to the Sovereign State for which it stands, one Commonwealth, blessed with diversity, natural wealth, beauty, and grace from on High.

Michigan: I pledge allegiance to the flag of Michigan, and to the state for which it stands, 2 beautiful peninsulas united by a bridge of steel, where equal opportunity and justice to all is our ideal.

Alabama: Flag of Alabama I salute thee. To thee I pledge my allegiance, my service, and my life.

Louisiana: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the state of Louisiana and to the motto for which it stands: A state, under God, united in purpose and ideals, confident that justice shall prevail for all of those abiding here.

Ohio: I salute the flag of the state of Ohio and pledge to the Buckeye State respect and loyalty.
Arkansas: I Salute the Arkansas Flag With Its Diamond and Stars. We Pledge Our Loyalty to Thee.

South Dakota: I pledge loyalty and support to the flag and state of South Dakota, land of sunshine, land of infinite variety.

Mississippi: I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God.

And by the way, which pledge, your state’s or the national one, trumps? Are you first a Texan or a citizen of the United States? Divided loyalties can be so confusing!

And why stop at the state level. Can’t we have a pledge of allegiance to Springfield? Or Sangamon County? Or the library district? I’m a sitting member of our neighborhood association and I’ll soon be introducing a motion to establish a pledge of loyalty to our subdivision. I mean, what if we get into it with Bradfordton Place or Oak Park? I need to know who I can count on.

6 comments:

JeromeProphet said...

These pledges are a great idea!

In a nation in which thirty million illegal aliens including children live it's good to know the children are being taught about honor, and loyalty to the state, and nation they live in now.

JP

RickMonday said...

I agree with JP. This is suppose to be a united country and we are all suppose to be American citizens (with few exceptions). I think we have lost our national pride and for the most part our national identity. To me, this is the most important item in the upcoming election. (not the pledge but American pride).

I am holding out hope that Obama will be able to unite us. I think Hillary will further polarize the country and I dont see any Republican that has cross party support. Although, I strongly believe in most conservative values, I am not going to support a presidential candidate based on their policies this time around. (Heck in the long run there really is little difference between the two parties.)

In the meantime, I see no problem and actually support the pledge of allegiance. I dont think there should be any prayer in school.

Marie said...

Gee, Alabamans not only pledge their allegiance and service, but also their life. Oh dear. That explains a lot.

ThirtyWhat said...

State, county, city, block ... [sigh] ... what the hell ... "I pledge allegience to The Eleventh Hour ... "

JeromeProphet said...

The people of the United States don't have a common religion which hold them together, nor a common ethnic background, or race, or even language.

There are whole cities in the U.S. where hundreds of thousands of people speak Chinese, or Vietnamese, or Spanish, or even Arabic.

There are cities you could drive through larger than Springfield, Illinois where you won't see one business sign in English.

There are huge areas where people living in those areas don't consider themselves to be "Americans", but instead Cubanos, or Huangs, etc.

The United States is a nation.

So the question is, what is a nation.

We obviously don't defend our borders, as there are tens of millions of illegal aliens in the U.S.

We haven't adopted a national language, or a state religion.

The U.S. is more a market place, or an idea than it is a nation in the classic sense.

So we have to ask ourselves is this a good thing.

Liberals argue, let everyone do their own thing - there's no obligation to the state. Let the poor join the military and face the risk to defend us. They also complain that the police are ignoring their rights when they enforce the laws - even arguing there's no need for a war on terror, or war on drugs.

Let everyone do their own thing didn't win WWII, nor the Cold War.

The soft comfortable safe life we live doesn't come for free.

Once again having little kids say an oath of allegience to this nation, or to their state isn't punishment - it's a part of being a member of a great society - one in which citizenship entails obligations.

This isn't NAZI Germany, or the Soviet Union. We're not having them make oaths to a king, or dictator, but to freedom, and our Constitution.

Liberals should be most concerned that children have a chance to affirm their loyalty to freedom, and justice, and equality.

JP

Dave said...

“Liberals argue, let everyone do their own thing - there's no obligation to the state.”
-- No they don’t. Even Rush Limbaugh doesn’t get that simplistic.

“Let the poor join the military and face the risk to defend us.”
-- If this is a “liberal” stance why is George Bush and the conservative rich in this country against a draft?

“They also complain that the police are ignoring their rights when they enforce the laws”
-- Sometimes, yes. Conservatives sometimes do too. But not all or even most laws. Simplistic smears.

“ - even arguing there's no need for a war on terror, or war on drugs.”
--Here it’s a matter of definitions. I don’t know anyone of any stripe who thinks no attention at all should be paid to stopping terrorism. What is opposed is extreme measures that violate a basic national morality (torture) or bullshit lies (Iraq).
--Again, simplistic malarkey. As for the war on drugs, much of it is self-defeating and many libertarians and conservatives agree.

“Let everyone do their own thing didn't win WWII, nor the Cold War.
The soft comfortable safe life we live doesn't come for free.”
-- More straw men. No one is saying let everyone do their own thing (whatever that means) all the time everywhere. No one.

“Once again having little kids say an oath of allegience to this nation, or to their state isn't punishment”
--You are one quit a roll. Saying it is superficial or unnecessary isn’t the same thing as saying it’s punishment.

“it's a part of being a member of a great society - one in which citizenship entails obligations”
--Yes, there are many meaningful obligations to being part of a society. Daily rote recitation of a pledge isn’t one of them.

“Liberals should be most concerned that children have a chance to affirm their loyalty to freedom, and justice, and equality.”

--Yes, by forcing them to say the pledge. No disconnect there.