Topic: USA / Global (408)

We Need a New Pledge of Allegiance

It is time to change our national pledge of allegiance - a change in response to the insurrection of January 6, 2021 and the attack on our National Capitol Building.

It is time to change our national pledge of allegiance - a change in response to the insurrection of January 6, 2021 and the attack on our National Capitol Building.

By

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.

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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.

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

Comments by Readers

Satpal Sidhu

Aug 28, 2022

Great Idea!  

I think the world has moved so far beyond the 1800’s and the globalization (promoted and progressed by our nation) has moved beyond symbols. Economics and governance values will define the nations of future.  The US Constitution is most unique and enduring, integral part of “the USA”. I agree with your suggestion to bring our Constitution to the forefront and sacrosanct for our nation. 

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Randy Petty

Aug 29, 2022

There is much to admire in the constitution, but it ( and the laws which follow it) are seriously flawed.  One might argue that if we had majority rule instead of minority rule (no electoral college) the last Presidential election would have been so clearcut there wouldn’t have been discussions about “alternate slates of electors” and state legislatures overturning the vote of the people.
In their defense, those in attendance at the constitutional convention had to make huge compromises to get it adopted—such as allowing all states to have two Senators regardless of population. (note I didn’t call them “founders” as I think that implies an undue reverence.)

Until we get amendments addressing many of these issues, I couldn’t consider pledging allegiance to it. Amendments addressing the minority rule caused by having two Senators per state, the filibuster, the problems with the Supreme Court and our tendency to treat presidents as kings ( power to overule a judge and jury with pardons?  executive privilege?)

“Thomas Jefferson believed that a country’s constitution should be rewritten every 19 years. Instead, the U.S. Constitution, which Jefferson did not help to write (he was in Paris serving as U.S. minister to France when the Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia), has prevailed since 1789.

“Jefferson thought the dead should not rule the living, thus constitutions should expire frequently, but the fact is that the U.S. Constitution quickly became enshrined by the public and is the oldest constitution in the world,” said Zachary Elkins, a professor of political science at Illinois.”

https://tinyurl.com/y3p2y5m7

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Angelo Tsoukalas

Aug 29, 2022
I agree with John that we should pledge allegiance to the US Constitution but “God” should stay in there. Most people believe in a god or gods and atheists pretty much believe they are their own god whether consciously or not. Therefore “God” should stay in there.
 
Randy Here’s a quote from our 2nd president and founding father, John Adams, also a signer of the Declaration of Independence, “Democracy never lasts long…It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.” He insisted, “There was never a democracy that ‘did not commit suicide.’” Thus if we had pure democracy we would not have lasted 245 years. 2 senators / state to keep the big states from overlording over the smaller states and electoral college to avoid mob rule and big cities overlording over the smaller cities and towns and majority white overlording over minorities. If mob rule, people would vote breaks and free money for themselves until the country goes bankrupt and anarchy takes over which leads to violent despotism. Seems many popular political groups nowadays are led by self proclaimed Marxists that want pure democracy (a total contradiction); however this is to unravel our republic which would be followed by a despotism of magnificent proportions.
 
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Randy Petty

Aug 29, 2022

We’re just talking about a different, better form of representation, not where all 258 million of us over eighteen vote on every single thing.  I think generally small states have been “lording” it over larger states if you look at how long it took to end slavery, create civil rights laws etc.   
If 80 of the 100 people on a local PTA ( parent teacher association) want textbook A to be used for math, is that tyranny of the majority or simply the way things should work?  The alternative would be that the 20 who want textbook B prevail—what sense would that make?
Also, I think the first amendment says something about including religion in our government, which I would extend to any pledge of allegiance.

“The Senate Is Split 50-50, But Democrats Represent 41.5 Million More People”

 

https://www.npr.org/2021/06/09/1002593823/how-democratic-is-american-democracy-key-pillars-face-stress-tests

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Dick Conoboy

Aug 29, 2022

Before continuing any discussion on the “pledge”, I suggest everyone read the history of this artificial, divisive, quasi-religious and faux patriotic recitation HERE.   By my statement, I think you know where I am going on this topic. 

In the meantime, I must state that reciting this contrived statement is not what I will do.  I stopped this “pledge” long ago and amazingly my patriotism stands.  I disagree with John that in changing the wording will make it more palatable in any sense.  There is NO NEED for a pledge whatsoever either to the flag or anything else, except in some form for those becoming a naturalized citizen and that is to the Consititution, as badly flawed a document that is, but that is a discussion for another day.

And if you missed my article about the flag a short while back you can read it here:  Just Whose Flag Is It Anyway?

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Randy Petty

Aug 29, 2022

 Interesting article on the pledge Dick, including a long section on court cases about it.  I suspect we haven’t heard the last of that, especially on the “under God” portion.
I do think discussing the constitution is relevant here, since the OP lists it as the appropriate target of any pledge.

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Dick Conoboy

Aug 30, 2022

Angelo,

You wrote:  ” I agree with John that we should pledge allegiance to the US Constitution but “God” should stay in there. Most people believe in a god or gods and atheists pretty much believe they are their own god whether consciously or not. Therefore “God” should stay in there.”

This statement is pretty much insulting, demeaning, arrogant and logically incoherent.  I am not sure how you devine the thoughts and beliefs of those who say they have no belief and have the chuztpa to tell them that you know better than they that which they experience “conciously or unconciously”.  Furthermore, that your extraordinary ability is sufficient to tell the so-called “unbelievers” that they should just suck it up and recite a loyalty oath that is against their prinicples because “we who believe say so.” 

The one time I took an oath was on the occasion of my commissioning as an officer in the US Army.  I took that oath willingly and with no mention of any diety. 

I (state your full name), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of Second Lieutenant, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

There is an OPTION to add “so help me god”. 

But the pledge of allegiance is not an oath of office.  It is nothing more than an artifice created to make the writer or the reciter feel good or patriotic or some such.  If you are interested there is more on this pledge stuff in this article “It is time to dump the pledge.”

The pledge and patriotism are not synonymous.  

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