MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Why Patriots Shouldn’t Pledge Allegiance

Posted by M. C. on June 15, 2021

Bellamy didn’t just write the pledge, but also instructions for an accompanying ritual that feels simultaneously religious and militaristic:

“At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the Flag the military salute—right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it… At the words, ‘to my Flag,’ the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, towards the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.”

Yes, Bellamy directed civilian children and adults to render a military salute to the flag, perhaps laying the philosophical groundwork for the eventual creation of the socialist “industrial army” his cousin envisioned in his novel.

Free people have no business pledging loyalty to any government. It’s government that has a duty of loyalty to the people, with no more essential demonstration of that loyalty than the protection of the rights of individuals.

https://starkrealities.substack.com/p/why-patriots-shouldnt-pledge-allegiance?fbclid=IwAR394bqWRuG0pyZLXt9mZMntopMshWAD1q9j1SZYgHulIyB-1DbuSTcXYkI

Brian McGlinchey

Flag Day is upon us, with the Fourth of July not far behind. No better time for a frontal assault on a cherished American ritual—the Pledge of Allegiance.

Though conservatives will be most aghast at this undertaking, the open-minded ones will soon discover they should be among the pledge’s greatest critics.

Before I open fire, a brief explanation for international readers: The Pledge of Allegiance is recited by children across America at the start of start of each school day. It’s also incorporated into many meetings held by federal, state and local governments and private groups as well.

Standing and facing the flag with hand over heart, one recites: “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.”

A Government Loyalty Oath Written by a Socialist

Many who consider the pledge a cornerstone of conservative values will be surprised to learn it was written by a Christian Socialist named Francis Bellamy, who was run out of his pulpit at a Boston church for preaching against capitalism, and who called Jesus Christ a socialist.

His radical cousin, Edward Bellamy, wrote a popular novel, Looking Backward, which glowingly describes a future in which government controls the means of production and where men are conscripted into the country’s “industrial army” and compelled to work in roles assigned to them by central planners.

While working for The Youth’s Companion, a children’s magazine, Bellamy wrote the Pledge of Allegiance in 1892, timed to be introduced in patriotic celebrations accompanying the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival.

According to a summary of Bellamy’s account of his writing of the pledge, he aimed for brevity, as well as “a rhythmic roll of sound so they would impress the children and have a lasting meaning when they became grown-up citizens.”

Given his beliefs, Bellamy was well-suited for creating a loyalty oath that conditions Americans to subordinate themselves to a powerful central government. Make no mistake—in pledging allegiance “to the republic,” Americans are doing precisely that.

That’s consistent with Bellamy’s wish for state sovereignty and individual liberties to yield to a centralized national government, but it’s starkly at odds with the founding spirit of the country.

Central to that spirit are the notions that government should be a servant and not a master, and that all government should be viewed with deep, ongoing wariness— certainly not the reverence demanded by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Free people have no business pledging loyalty to any government. It’s government that has a duty of loyalty to the people, with no more essential demonstration of that loyalty than the protection of the rights of individuals.

Conditioning America’s Youth for Subservience

Bellamy didn’t just write the pledge, but also instructions for an accompanying ritual that feels simultaneously religious and militaristic:

“At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the Flag the military salute—right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it… At the words, ‘to my Flag,’ the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, towards the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.”

Yes, Bellamy directed civilian children and adults to render a military salute to the flag, perhaps laying the philosophical groundwork for the eventual creation of the socialist “industrial army” his cousin envisioned in his novel.

The arm outstretched toward the flag came to be called the “Bellamy salute,” and it endured for several decades before its striking similarity to the Nazi salute prompted its replacement in 1942 by the familiar hand-over-heart gesture.

Southington, CT children pledge allegiance in May 1942 (Library of Congress)

See the rest here

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