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TinotopiaLog → The Pledge of Allegiance ( 2 Jul 2002)
Tuesday 02 July 2002

The Pledge of Allegiance

I have never liked the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s not the concept that bothers me — in a nation of immigrants, it’s probably a good idea to drill some kind of common nationalism into everyone — but the Pledge itself.

Most obvious is the fact that it’s a pledge of allegiance to the flag. The flag is nothing but a piece of fabric. On its own, it’s meaningless; equating it with the United States and the philosophical underpinnings thereof is exactly like equating the Golden Arches with the lousy food and sticky floors that they are a symbol for.

I continue to be horrified — really, I never cease to be surprised and amazed — as, at least once a year, some Congressman drags out the anti-flag-burning Constitutional amendment proposal. The reasoning goes something like this: Millions of men have died defending the freedom represented by that flag, and to honor their sacrifice, we’re going to see to it that you’re not free to set the flag on fire. That ought to make it clear that the U.S. flag is to be venerated as a symbol of freedom, as opposed to the flags of some of those countries that restrict freedom of expression!

I don’t think the anti-flag-burners see the irony in that; I also am pretty sure that the people who would burn U.S. flags in the United States don’t see the irony in their actions. Frankly, it’d be fitting if, every fourth of July, every American stepped out into his front yard and set a flag on fire. Not only would this boost the stock price of Consolidated Bunting and Flag Co. (thus saving the economy), but it’d keep us from the idiocy of allowing veneration of a symbol from destroying the very thing that the symbol is meant to represent.

Posted by tino at 21:57 2.07.02
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