John Servais is over 80, a citizen, a military veteran, an Independent voter, a history buff, and a life long political activist. He started Northwest Citizen in 1995, which may now be the oldest continuing political blog in the world. He has managed the flying of the flag from the 100 foot flagpole in front of the Fairhaven Library for the past 14 years.
We need a reworded Pledge of Allegiance for our United States of America.
We should no longer pledge allegiance to the flag, rather, we should pledge allegiance to the Constitution. We should respect the flag as the symbol of our nation and our experiment with a constitutional democracy. The flag's stripes symbolize the beginnings of our country as thirteen sovereign states that came together in 1776, and the 50 stars are symbols of the semi-sovereign states that comprise our country now, 246 years later.
Our elected leaders, upon taking office, swear allegiance to the Constitution. Many civil servants, who are hired to work in our government offices, are also required to swear allegiance to the Constitution. “We the people of the United States" should also swear allegiance to our Constitution.
The attempted overthrow of our government on January 6, 2021, in violation of our Constitution, is the reason this change is needed. Many of the insurrectionists who marched on our Capitol, and broke into it, and hunted our elected representatives in an attempt to kill them, did so while carrying our national flag. Indeed, some used the flag and pole to beat the police officers who were trying to defend the Capitol. In videos, we can see our national flag being carried by the mass of traitors storming the Capitol.
Most of those traitors thought they were being loyal citizens. Their misplaced allegiance was to the flag; they swore allegiance to a piece of cloth, and thought they were loyal citizens of our nation. Then, under the banner of our flag, they tried to overthrow our government and our Constitution. Many - perhaps most - had no idea what the actual words of the Constitution are, nor that it is the supreme law of our land. They thought, and many still think, they were patriots as evidenced by their carrying and waving the flag, while attempting to overthrow our Constitutional government.
In the birth years of our nation, from 1774 until 1789, we became the first country in the history of the world to create a written constitution as a single document. For the first time ever, those taking public office swore allegiance to a piece of paper, the Constitution, and not to a person, such as a king, queen, emperor, prince or general. The British pledge allegiance to their king or queen, as did all nations and countries until we invented the swearing of obedience to a Constitution and not a person. It is America's contribution to the world.
Our Constitution requires each president, upon taking office, to take an oath. All elected national and state officials, and our military officers, take a variation of this oath.
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
“We the people,” should modify our own pledge to our country by identifying our Constitution as the object of our faithfulness, instead of the flag. We should pledge allegiance to the words of our Constitution. Our flag, that colorful piece of cloth, is only a symbol and has no meaning beyond being a symbol. Pledging allegiance to the flag allows each person to define what that means in their own way. We have seen how it allowed the would-be tyrant to use the flag - many flags flying behind him that day at the Ellipse - as symbols while he ranted and urged rebellion and the overthrow of our Constitutional Democracy.
It is time to change our pledge from the flag to the Constitution.
“I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it is the supreme law, one nation, indivisible, under God, with liberty and justice for all.” (Maybe remove the reference to God so the pledge is truly meaningful to all citizens.)
We should still face the flag, the symbol of our nation, and place our hand over our hearts as a sign of our honesty and commitment in saying these words. Members of our military should still salute the flag as a sign of their dedication to defend our Nation through loyal service under the Constitution.
We should respect the flag. In my opinion, we should not fly other flags on the same flagpole, as it reduces and dilutes our respect for what the flag stands for - our constitutional and indivisible nation. If any other flag might fly below it, then it should only be the flag of an individual state, as each is semi-sovereign. But we do not swear allegiance to states, we swear allegiance to our national Constitution - and flying the flag of the United States should be a symbol of our nation and our Constitution.
We owe allegiance to our national Constitution: We should face the flag as the symbol of our nation as we pledge our allegiance to our Constitution.