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The Pledge of Allegiance.


Lisek
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I listen to the tail end of a radio program named LoveLine on the drive home, they mostly deal with relationship, sex, and addiction questions. But the last call today was some odd person who not only felt he had to explicitly state he was proud to be a virgin, but asked a question about whether the host of the show would fight to keep the "Pledge of Allegiance" in our schools.

The Pledge is oft recited by young children in elementary schools and (if you didn't feel like reading the article) basically asks children to, well, pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States (yes, the flag) and the country itself. It also makes note that the country is indivisible ("Don't start another civil war, you little urchins!"), and "under god" (of course). 

This forum has a sizable membership from outside the United States, and I wonder what you think about this nonsense. I think it is just that: nonsense. It reeks to me of trying to convince children to not turn over to those filthy commies, and ties in with the USA's ridiculous, almost religious, reverence to it's damn flag. Not that I read that strongly into it, I'm being a bit silly here.

Do other countries have a ritual like this? Hell, does any other country have this silly flag worship we have (I'd read about people visiting the United States and being confused by the ridiculous amount of flags everywhere).

On a completely unrelated note, the flag used to be saluted like so:

Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_Amer

Wonder why they stopped doing that?

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The only problem I have with the Pledge of Allegiance is the inclusion of lines that demand the entire country be under the Abrahamic deity. It should be all religions or none. Although I'd be fine with Thoth or Freya

 

Now to the point, OP you should understand symbolism and its importance in all human cultures. Yes it's just a stupid flag, in fact it wouldn't surprise me if it was Made In China, but it's the symbol that correlates to an entire country. It's not about worship of the flag and it's intellectually dishonest of you to argue that when you should know better.

People form loyalties to families, friends, groups, towns, cities, states, and yes countries. It's entirely natural for people to feel a loyalty to whatever land they grew up in.

But considering your post is reaching out for Communism and Nazi fruits, which hang quite low, I'm not sure why I'm replying to this seriously.

If you can't feel a sense of connection, and realize how lucky you are to live where you do, then at the very least please do for being an Earthling. Goodness knows that's a lot of luck.

 

Edit: I mean we could also not spit on the sacrifices of our ancestors too, that'd be a decent thing but you know.

Edited by Clove Darkwave
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As an Eagle Scout, a family member with several cousins, uncles and grandparents who are serving/have served the United States of America in the armed forces, and someone who tried but failed to get into the United States Marine Corps, I find this whole debate insulting, disrespectful, degrading and distasteful towards the men and women in the armed forces who have pledged their lives, given up some or all of what they had to provide a country for my family.

In the Boy Scouts we were taught the following:

Duty to:

  • God
  • Country
  • Family
  • Self

I do not know if that is still taught in the Boy Scouts. It is sad that this is not taught in everyday life. This is a code of honor. To some it may be just words, to those who want it to, it means something a great deal more. To try and call it stupid or anachronistic is disgusting at best.

I sincerely hope this is an attempt at a puerile trolling to incite persons on this forum.

Edited by Skylar Husky
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The only problem I have with the Pledge of Allegiance is the inclusion of lines that demand the entire country be under the Abrahamic deity. It should be all religions or none. Although I'd be fine with Thoth or Freya

 

Now to the point, OP you should understand symbolism and its importance in all human cultures. Yes it's just a stupid flag, in fact it wouldn't surprise me if it was Made In China, but it's the symbol that correlates to an entire country. It's not about worship of the flag and it's intellectually dishonest of you to argue that when you should know better.

People form loyalties to families, friends, groups, towns, cities, states, and yes countries. It's entirely natural for people to feel a loyalty to whatever land they grew up in.

But considering your post is reaching out for Communism and Nazi fruits, which hang quite low, I'm not sure why I'm replying to this seriously.

If you can't feel a sense of connection, and realize how lucky you are to live where you do, then at the very least please do for being an Earthling. Goodness knows that's a lot of luck.

 

Edit: I mean we could also not spit on the sacrifices of our ancestors too, that'd be a decent thing but you know.

Like I said, I was being silly. What I really want to say is that I am deeply bothered by extreme patriotism. I have known and talked to so many people that "love" the United States, but can't tell me a single reason why besides "I was born here". These people, of course, often hate other countries. On the other hand, I know people who truly like the United States, and they give me good reasons for it, but they like the United States as part of the world, how it works with the whole.

The caller to the radio show was vehement about keeping the Pledge and mentioned his brother was a Marine, and how veterans were fighting to make sure the Pledge stays in schools. But, really? We don't need to have our children pledge allegiance to any nation, they can see the merit of our nation for themselves, the silly Pledge isn't that important.

My issue with the Pledge, the abundance of flags, and such is that I can't shake how hollow it feels. So many people I know do these types of Patriotic things not out of a genuine love of country, but out of a feeling of obligation. It reminds me of when I was still religious, towards the tail end of that I barely believed in any of it but still attended services and said prayers, that doesn't sit right with me now. Really, it is that, making it an obligation. So many people are so vitriolic about the removal of the Pledge, or if someone doesn't stand for the national anthem, or sometimes even if someone flies another flag above the US flag on their own private flag pole. But none of those things make anyone less of an American. It really does make me feel like people treat the flag as an idol, and the country as a religion, more than they treat it as a community. That's really what it is, a community. 

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My issue with the Pledge, the abundance of flags, and such is that I can't shake how hollow it feels. So many people I know do these types of Patriotic things not out of a genuine love of country, but out of a feeling of obligation. It reminds me of when I was still religious, towards the tail end of that I barely believed in any of it but still attended services and said prayers, that doesn't sit right with me now. Really, it is that, making it an obligation. So many people are so vitriolic about the removal of the Pledge, or if someone doesn't stand for the national anthem, or sometimes even if someone flies another flag above the US flag on their own private flag pole. But none of those things make anyone less of an American. It really does make me feel like people treat the flag as an idol, and the country as a religion, more than they treat it as a community. That's really what it is, a community. 

Patriotism, idol worship of the name of your country.

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It looks to me like you personally might not be feeling what's so wonderful about where you live, is that right?

I'm honestly too tired to really explain to you why it's a big deal to have respect for the circumstances that surround you and allow your daily life to exist.

Where did I say this was a horrible place to live? I'm making no complaint about the nation, simply the people who are so oddly overzealous not about respect for what a symbol represents, but for the symbol itself. I'm not saying you do this, I'm not saying anyone here does that. But that caller's tone didn't sit right with me. To him it was important that the Pledge stay because we have always said it, not because of why we say it.

In much the same way it bothers me because so many people I've met (and don't associate myself with) respect the flag, the national anthem, and the symbols that represent the USA not because of the great nation they represent; but rather because they have always done so, because they feel that they are obligated to do so - much like a religion obligates prayer and piety, and they say people who deviate the slightest bit are "terrorists", "unamerican", and other things that make me sick. I used to do the same thing, I stood for the national anthem not because of a pride in my country - but because everyone else stood up. I treated the mistreatment of a flag as desecration, sacrilege, there was a time where I felt it should be illegal. But I don't feel that way anymore, because now I know better. 

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I would also like to say that my replies really were my main point, my first post sucked ass at conveying. I do however feel the Pledge of Allegiance is kind of creepy: allegiance, loyalty to this country and none other. Can't it be the Pledge of Appreciation or Honor or whatever? If I become a citizen of Canada do I break this "pledge"? Maybe it is the word "pledge" I take more issue with. We can seriously replace it with something better.

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People form loyalties to families, friends, groups, towns, cities, states, and yes countries. It's entirely natural for people to feel a loyalty to whatever land they grew up in.

There may be some slight distinction between people naturally coming to these feelings on their own because they're happy with their country and being taught to act them out as children. We actually have a similar thing here, but it's for people who are becoming a citizen (or citizens who just feel like doing it of their own accord). It would be a lot weirder and kind of unsettling if our government one day decided to have kids recite it in schools. If we don't trust them to understand the implications of signing a form yet I don't think we should be pushing them into patriotic ceremonies either.

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As an Eagle Scout, a family member with several cousins, uncles and grandparents who are serving/have served the United States of America in the armed forces, and someone who tried but failed to get into the United States Marine Corps, I find this whole debate insulting, disrespectful, degrading and distasteful towards the men and women in the armed forces who have pledged their lives, given up some or all of what they had to provide a country for my family.

 

 

giphy-facebook_s.jpg

thank you for revealing the insane religiousity people feel towards this damn symbol. also, lol at the God thing for the Boy Scouts. 

There was a reason the founding fathers wanted to be a secular nation. (And state worship is just another religion really) I wish they'd put their fellow man at the top of the list. But that wouldn't start many wars I guess. ;3 

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It does seem a little bit odd to say something to/about a flag at the start of every school day. I'm just trying to imagine me saying something similar to the Union Jack or the Saltire and I imagine I'd probably just be really bored with it. As for saying it's unpatriotic/disrespectful to not have the pledge in US schools, I'd argue that you can be patriotic without it. The UK doesn't have anything like it yet we get along with patriotism and stuff like that just fine for example, or at least those of us who want to be patriotic beyond "oh yeah the UK's a nice place, I like the Queen I guess". Same for lots of other countries around the world too.

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As expected, the Europoors in the thread have no pride in their countries, thats why they let them be ruled by the Grand Jewish Council in Brussels and overrun with foreign invaders.

Edited by Zerig
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...I thought it was what the flag represents, not the flag itself? We legitimately battled against another country to gain our independance and the flag has that meaning behind it (We have "Star Spangled banner" because after a particular battle with gunfire and shiz the flag remained untouched and it was supposed to be a meaningful symbol of solidarity through conflict).

 

i dont get the issue? I thought we did it because some sort of loyalty to ones own ccountry was kind of important to the social and communal health of a country as a whole.

and doesnt communism legitimately suck?

 

I think people can make personal stands to not participate but is there a reasonto banish it?

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Edit:

I actually did make a post on this once. Long ago, I had to write a response to an essay question, I was in 9th grade probably...the question asked something along the lines of "If one nation under God" should be in the pledge.

I personally do not wish on placing ideas and cultures on others, so I attempted to answer this question fairly and reasonably. I said that people should not need to participate, particularly in that line, if they do not so wish. However, I didnt feel a plight for its removal because it was a facet of the pledge, and part of its history. I felt like, with its removal, you would remove the symbol of "God", if one did not believe in God, because it represents a higher moral authority where the government itself should not be in charge of having power for the sake of control. At least I feel that's a good objective way to look at it. On top of that, removal of the pledge or its parts would cause a really bad shitstorm of argument.

In any case...my dad did not like my response, neither did the forum when I brought it up. There just really is no such thing as compromise and fairness for all.

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Surely as part of your right to Free Speach, you have the right to not do a pledge of allegiance? You have the right to be critical of your government, to be critical of your nations actions, to be critical of your armed forces. You have the right to not make any silly pledge. You have the right to choose to make a pledge.

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You know actually I'm really sick of this attitude that "America is shitty shit and everyone who lives there is shit". It's my fucking country, what the hell am I supposed to do about it? If I said the same about Europe people would be screaming at me.

Edited by Sidewalk Surfboard
Wrong there. It's early in the morning, I'm tired
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It's entirely natural for people to feel a loyalty to whatever land they grew up in.

That's interestingly true. Even though I live in a country I'm extremely dissatisfied with, I can't say I downright hate it. Something keeps me from saying that. Perhaps it's exactly the allegiance factor

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You people act like the pledge of allegiance killed your family and shat on your cheerios.

You act like it is anything more than a social curiosity, harking back to older times.

 

You know actually I'm really sick of this attitude that "America is shitty shit and everyone who lives their is shit". It's my fucking country, what the hell am I supposed to do about it? If I said the same about Europe people would be screaming at me.

Which relates to the topic at hand exactly how? Nobody says that "America is shitty shit and everyone who lives their[sic] is shit".

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America sucks, but I live here

I cant really imagine living in another country. Heck...there was a time I couldnt picture leaving my state

Well, it's said that first step to solving problems is to admit that they exist. Maybe if enough people think this and try to make it suck slightly less it will improve.

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You know actually I'm really sick of this attitude that "America is shitty shit and everyone who lives there is shit". It's my fucking country, what the hell am I supposed to do about it? If I said the same about Europe people would be screaming at me.

I haven't seen anyone in here arguing that America is a bad country.
Merely that some of our social practices are absurd.

The thing about appreciation is that it should be done critically.
If you're blindly worshiping something, or following something, or loving something...
simply for being told to, without investigating, without picking it apart, and forming your own reasons...
I would argue that's not true appreciation at all.

You're performing the routine you've been taught.
That's it.

It is, as Lisek already said, hollow and meaningless.


Furthermore, reaction to criticism should never be "IF YOU DONT LIKE IT GET OUT."
If it is, you might need to look deeper into why you support the things that you do.

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I haven't seen anyone in here arguing that America is a bad country.
Merely that some of our social practices are absurd.

The thing about appreciation is that it should be done critically.
If you're blindly worshiping something, or following something, or loving something...
simply for being told to, without investigating, without picking it apart, and forming your own reasons...
I would argue that's not true appreciation at all.

You're performing the routine you've been taught.
That's it.

It is, as Lisek already said, hollow and meaningless.


Furthermore, reaction to criticism should never be "IF YOU DONT LIKE IT GET OUT."
If it is, you might need to look deeper into why you support the things that you do.

Rereading, my post I seemed pretty angry. I was pretty tired when I wrote it. My apologies. In honesty, I am aware that America isn't perfect, but the fact that it's constantly a target of ridicule bothers me. Every country has problems, but people tend to pick on America for some reason.

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Rereading, my post I seemed pretty angry. I was pretty tired when I wrote it. My apologies. In honesty, I am aware that America isn't perfect, but the fact that it's constantly a target of ridicule bothers me. Every country has problems, but people tend to pick on America for some reason.

When you're on English-speaking parts of the internet, chances are most people have been pretty highly exposed to US culture and politics via media and interacting with Americans online. I mean, I couldn't even think up a complaint about, for instance, Bulgarian culture. Does it even have one? I wouldn't know—it never makes its way into my life. Meanwhile I have to worry about shit like the TPP as a bunch of countries attempt to become more like the US, and I have American friends who I send money so that they can even afford to eat that month because programs that would help them there are... shall we say underdeveloped. Everywhere I go on the internet there are Americans talking about American things—it's kind of hard to avoid.

So, 'for some reason' it comes up a lot...

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 If I become a citizen of Canada do I break this "pledge"? Maybe it is the word "pledge" I take more issue with. We can seriously replace it with something better.

If you are a Citizen of the USA and you go through the process to become a Canadian citizen, then you become dual citizen.  Canada does not (rightly or wrongly) force you to renounce any other citizenship or pledges of allegiance.   Since the text of the US pledge is not exclusive "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." then there should be no issue with pledging additional allegiances.

The bigger questions is how does the USA handle dual citizen ship and how does the State Department feel about you swearing fealty to the  head of the Commonwealth, currently the Queen of England?

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I know I already talked in this thread, but on the topic of saying the pledge itself, I don't see a point. Every morning is a little excessive. I can understand at a Baseball game and such, but I don't really understand why it's said during school. Most of us just stand up and get it over with.

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If you are a Citizen of the USA and you go through the process to become a Canadian citizen, then you become dual citizen.  Canada does not (rightly or wrongly) force you to renounce any other citizenship or pledges of allegiance.   Since the text of the US pledge is not exclusive "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." then there should be no issue with pledging additional allegiances.

The bigger questions is how does the USA handle dual citizen ship and how does the State Department feel about you swearing fealty to the  head of the Commonwealth, currently the Queen of England?

Eets allowed. Considering half of California is viva la Mexico, we pretty okay wit it.

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Eets allowed. Considering half of California is viva la Mexico, we pretty okay wit it.

Its socially acceptable, or proscribed by law?  I suspect the latter.

The other thing I find ridiculous about the US pledge is that it seems to be a daily (well 5 out of seven days of the week for school kids) affirmation than a pledge.  You typically only swear a pledge once.

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Its socially acceptable, or proscribed by law?  I suspect the latter.

The other thing I find ridiculous about the US pledge is that it seems to be a daily (well 5 out of seven days of the week for school kids) affirmation than a pledge.  You typically only swear a pledge once.

 

 

 

Either or, I don't see anything damning about it. If anything, I wanna say people will have a similar response as "why no other countries do this?" imo. I don't see it damning or destroying this nation as is. The people in the white house do a good enough job at that already. 

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As an Eagle Scout, a family member with several cousins, uncles and grandparents who are serving/have served the United States of America in the armed forces, and someone who tried but failed to get into the United States Marine Corps, I find this whole debate insulting, disrespectful, degrading and distasteful towards the men and women in the armed forces who have pledged their lives, given up some or all of what they had to provide a country for my family.

In the Boy Scouts we were taught the following:

Duty to:

  • God
  • Country
  • Family
  • Self

I do not know if that is still taught in the Boy Scouts. It is sad that this is not taught in everyday life. This is a code of honor. To some it may be just words, to those who want it to, it means something a great deal more. To try and call it stupid or anachronistic is disgusting at best.

I sincerely hope this is an attempt at a puerile trolling to incite persons on this forum.

 Man, you taking this personally it's really funny.

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I'm going to skip to the end here, not that others don't have insightful views or that discussion isn't useful, I simply want to put my opinion in and GTFO this time.

I believe having children do such things is not a good thing at all. By having children recite that you essentially cement it in their minds by the time they are an adult without giving them the time to choose whether those words are right for them.

You don't have to owe allegiance to any entity as a capable human being; my allegiances are to the betterment of lives regardless of the lines we draw in the ground between us.

Frankly it reminds me of the airman's creed when I was in basic, the difference is that was said by adults who made the choice to pursue that walk of life in more or less full awareness of it's consequences and the meanings behind the words.

Not young children thinking they owe anything to a political entity or a god they don't neccesarily believe in.

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I'm going to skip to the end here, not that others don't have insightful views or that discussion isn't useful, I simply want to put my opinion in and GTFO this time.

I believe having children do such things is not a good thing at all. By having children recite that you essentially cement it in their minds by the time they are an adult without giving them the time to choose whether those words are right for them.

You don't have to owe allegiance to any entity as a capable human being; my allegiances are to the betterment of lives regardless of the lines we draw in the ground between us.

Frankly it reminds me of the airman's creed when I was in basic, the difference is that was said by adults who made the choice to pursue that walk of life in more or less full awareness of it's consequences and the meanings behind the words.

Not young children thinking they owe anything to a political entity or a god they don't neccesarily believe in.

Um, wow. I said the pledge all my life and am nothing like this. 

 

I think this falls hand in hand with people who thought letting their children watch pokemon or Harry Potter would turn them to witchcraft. 

 

Yeah, I think the majority of you guys fall into this line of thinking methinks. And you didn't even realize it. That's meta. Woah.

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I've always seen the pledge of allegiance as one of those weird mid-twentieth century ironies of US nationalism. (I know the original pledge predates this period, but this is when it became widespread.) People were worried about the influence of communism and the totalitarian regimes in Russia and Germany so they decided that children should be forced to recite a loyalty oath every day at school. Nothing screams "triumph of democracy and freedom" like kids pledging allegiance to a flag. Tacking on god in the '50s just made things even sillier. Your enemies restrict religion so you answer back by requiring everyone to to reference Abrahamic religion that you simultaneously tie to the state through its inclusion in the pledge? 

We're a representative democracy with some of the strongest protections on Earth for free expression. If you want young people to feel loyalty towards their nation, beyond circumstance and obligation, then you should have to convince them why. Telling people what they should think is the antithesis of the American ideal.

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I know I already talked in this thread, but on the topic of saying the pledge itself, I don't see a point. Every morning is a little excessive. I can understand at a Baseball game and such, but I don't really understand why it's said during school. Most of us just stand up and get it over with.

That's the Anthem "Star Spangled Banner" that's sung at sports games.

The pledge wasn't really said much aside from the military until the " Second Red Scare", and under god was added by Eisenhower in 1954 and used in Schools during that period until now. During that time, they believed that Communism was associated with Godlessness and began putting emphasis on religion and began adding god to almost everything dealing with the US. "In God we trust" was later added to money in 1956 and declared the official motto of the United States.

Edited by Ozriel
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You know what other nation worshipped its flag? The Third German Reich.

you know what other nations outside of the 3rd reich showed respect for their flag?

every nation

the USA has every right to salute its flag in a fashion invented by french artists in the 18th century

Edited by Sir Gibby
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I've always found it a bit weird that it was mandatory, like in elementary school (when kids are really too young to fully understand what they were pledging) if you didn't say the pledge you got in trouble. I had actually come to the US from Germany when I was small and when I look back there really was a disregard for students of other nationalities. I was in New Mexico at the time and most of the population of the students at the elementary school I attended were Hispanic immigrants and children from the Native American reservation. Most of the American Caucasian children were from military families. I wouldn't call it indoctrination or anything extreme but it does feel like unquestioning patriotism was the expected norm. 

I'm only speaking based on my own experience but I believe if the pledge of allegiance is a serious enough matter that a child can be punished for not saying it then maybe we shouldn't make children recite it. Pledging your allegiance to a nation should very much be a "don't say it if you don't mean it" type of thing. 

Edited by Red Lion
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I just know as a foreigner that the Pledge of Allegiance seems freaky to me. Being made to swear allegiance to a country, idea or otherwise is just too cult-like to me, and way too dystopian in nature.

 

Also, on the flag issue; showing respect to a flag is very normal. I enjoy the Danish flag for what it represents, both culturally and politically. I like it, but if I see someone "disgrace" it, I just laugh at it. Because it's still an inanimate object, and destroying a bit of textile won't change a thing about what the symbol on it represents.

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I've always found it a bit weird that it was mandatory, like in elementary school (when kids are really too young to fully understand what they were pledging) if you didn't say the pledge you got in trouble. I had actually come to the US from Germany when I was small and when I look back there really was a disregard for students of other nationalities. I was in New Mexico at the time and most of the population of the students at the elementary school I attended were Hispanic immigrants and children from the Native American reservation. Most of the American Caucasian children were from military families. I wouldn't call it indoctrination or anything extreme but it does feel like unquestioning patriotism was the expected norm. 

I'm only speaking based on my own experience but I believe if the pledge of allegiance is a serious enough matter that a child can be punished for not saying it then maybe we shouldn't make children recite it. Pledging your allegiance to a nation should very much be a "don't say it if you don't mean it" type of thing. 

That behavior's been passed down from the 50's when people feared Communism. If you didn't say it as a kid back then, you and your parents would get scrutinized in the neighborhood.

Nowadays, it's forgotten why people HAD to say it instead of the reasons of "lol communism". 

BTW, the Pledge was written by a socialist. :V

Edited by Ozriel
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