The Pledge Allegiance to the Flag
With a new generation of protesters laying claim to the movement “Black Lives Matter” it is time for a reckoning.
“I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America. To the country for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for All.”
We recited this with hands on our hearts as part of our class duties in the school days of the 1960’s. The “Pledge” was invented to create a sense of civic duty in the late 19th century and became a regular activity every morning.
Lately, the flag has been used to express extreme political beliefs instead of as a symbol for the idea of “justice for all” and the freedom to speak our minds in civil political discourse. As a member of a military family the flag has special meaning as it was handed to my mother at my father’s funeral. It was a moment of patriotism and thanks from a grateful nation. The use of the flag in anti-war protests was a symbol of a movement where we questioned our government’s decisions to go to war.
With a new generation of important voices engaged in protest movement “Black Lives Matter” it is time for another reckoning. We can begin by demanding that all our cities revise and change their law enforcement policies. We can demand that racism be removed from corporate boardrooms and places of business. We can demand that women are no longer marginalized; that LGBTQ communities are never subjected to dehumanizing treatment in the workplace and in our community. The movement has asked us to look at every aspect of our democracy. It has become more than a moment as it reaches across the world to show what a free and fair democracy should do.
Our humanity and kindness should take precedence over the politics but this is a very tall order. It is a historic moment in our history when we have the opportunity to make the ideals of democracy better. No one said this was going to be easy; its clear that some cling to ideas that have little basis in fact and a world view that has passed which they long to regain. This is where the dangers arise; we are all tasked with being watchful. If we are not careful our voices will slip away at the voting booth. Take a moment to participate in your local registration, voting issues or volunteer for the next election. We are only as good, as each one of us.
Editor’s Note: I suggest taking a glance at the history of the Pledge of Allegiance and all its various versions over the years. See the entire story here. Flags have a powerful place in politics, society and the world as symbols for the betterment of a society; Flags are also dangerous symbols that can be used for the oppression of a people, society or ideas.