Anybody send this to you on Facebook (100 times, maybe?)
Clever, eh? It repeats the McCarthy-era editing of the Pledge of Allegiance, and then comes up with this whopper:
. . . My generation grew up reciting this every morning in school, with my hand on my heart. They no longer do that for fear of offending someone!
Let’s see how many Americans will re-post and not care about offending someone!
Not quite so long-lived as the Millard Fillmore Bathtub Hoax — which started in 1917 — but a lot more common these days.
Just as false. Maybe more perniciously so.
- Actually, 45 of our 50 states require the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. The five exceptions: Iowa, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Vermont and Wyoming. See any pattern there?
- None of the five states previously required the Pledge, and then stopped.
- None of the five states claim to not require the pledge in order to avoid offending anyone. Oklahoma would be happy to offend people on such issues, most of the time.
- Reposting historically inaccurate claims, without fear of offending anyone, is no virtue. It’s just silly.
The creator of that poster is probably well under the age of 50, and may have grown up with the hand-over-heart salute used after World War II. That was not the original salute, and I’d imagine the author is wholly ignorant of the original and why it was changed.
Wikipedia gives a concise history of the salute:
Swearing of the Pledge is accompanied by a salute. An early version of the salute, adopted in 1892, was known as the Bellamy salute. It started with the hand outstretched toward the flag, palm down, and ended with the palm up. Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, developed later, the United States Congress instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute. Removal of the Bellamy salute occurred on December 22, 1942, when Congress amended the Flag Code language first passed into law on June 22, 1942.
One might understand why the Bellamy Salute was changed, during war with Nazi Germany.
Arrogance and ignorance combine to form many different kinds of prejudices, all of them ugly. The arrogant assumption that only “our generation” learned patriotism and that whatever goes on in schools today is not as good as it was “in our day,” regardless how many decades it’s been since the speaker was in a public school, compounds the ignorance of the fact that since 1980, forced patriotic exercises in schools have increased, not decreased.
Like much about our nation’s troubles, assumptions based on ignorance often are incorrect assumptions. Consequently, they give rise to what is today clinically known as the Dunning Kruger Effect (or syndrome), so elegantly summed by by Bertrand Russell in the 1930s:
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
Humorously summed up by “Kin” Hubbard:
It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.
Ignorance is a terrible disease, but one easily cured, by reading. We can hope.
- A Socialist Wrote The Pledge Of Allegiance! (americanliberaltimes.com)
- History lesson – USA (episyllogism.wordpress.com)
- Parents fight to ban Pledge of Allegiance in court (huffingtonpost.com)
- Pledge of Allegiance challenged in Massachusetts Supreme Court (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- In 1943, the Supreme Court determined that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment protects the right of a student to NOT recite the Pledge of Allegiance; Jehovah’s Witnesses students had been reprimanded in West Virginia, but they protested that the Pledge is exactly the sort of oath their religion claims to be against God. The case is West Virginia vs. Barnette 319 U.S. 625 (1943). Explanation of the case here; full text and more history of the case here, at Oyez; in irony the maker of the poster above will miss, Justice Jackson pointed out that the First Amendment especially protects Americans against the tyranny of forced thought
- What the First Amendment means when saluting the flag and religion collide, in 1943 (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited by students in many U.S. public schools today in 1892, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage to America. Now WE know em (carl-leonard.com)
- An Open Letter to the Principal of My Kids’ Elementary School: Let’s Drop the Pledge of Allegiance (patheos.com)
- Students react to Pledge of Allegiance (pcepperspective.wordpress.com)
You’d forgotten there’s another war going on in South Sudan?
- Gumuruk is a village of about 10,000 people, swamped with refugees from the fighting – in Pibor County, South Sudan
- UN Peacekeepers struggle to keep 100,000 people in the area free from fighting between government and non-government forces; this is one of those missions the UN does every day that neo-cons and Tea Partisans ridicule
- WFP, the United Nations World Food Programme, is the largest humanitarian agency in the world (despite what the ads on the religious television stations may say)
- IDP means “internally displaced person,” or a refugee from war, natural disaster, or economic crisis, driven from their home, but still in their nation of residence; there are millions
- S. Sudan: Japan gives WFP nearly $2m as food assistance (sudantribune.com)
- Syria: UN’s Mission Impossible in Syria (ionglobaltrends.com)
- Donkeys Don’t Fly on Planes (jesseducation.wordpress.com)
- South Sudan: food fears for thousands in Jonglei as violence intensifies (guardian.co.uk)
- South Sudan Negotiating $500 Million IMF Loan to Bolster Economy – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- South Sudan: Thousands Hiding, Hungry in Bush in South Sudan’s Pibor (ionglobaltrends.com)
- Thousands Hiding, Hungry in Bush in South Sudan’s Pibor (voanews.com)
- 500,000 facing destruction and disease (theguardian.com)
- Fear, Flooding Keep People from Care in Pibor, South Sudan (doctorswithoutborders.org)
- Sudan Reverses Threat to Stop South Sudan Oil Flow (abcnews.go.com)
- More photos from UN agencies
Found just the perfect photo of Mt. Timpanogos and the U.S. flag. I may use it a lot, unless Bob Walker, the guy who took it, complains.
And, again, yes, you may fly your flag today, any day. According to the flag code, flags can be flown any day, appropriately, in addition to the score of dates recommended in the Flag Code.
- Marion man showcases flag collection with “Parade of Flags” (thegazette.com)
- Pendleton man flies U.S. flag upside down as a protest (oregonlive.com)
- STARNES: HGTV: Use American flag as table cloth (radio.foxnews.com)
- Should Lil Wayne Face Jail Time for Desecrating the American Flag? [VIDEO] (myhoustonmajic.com)
- The View From our Living Room Window in the South Salt Lake Valley May 20 2013 (dmblood.typepad.com)
- Honoring Old Glory: How to properly handle the American flag (stripes.com)
For Immediate Release
September 12, 2012
Presidential Proclamation — Honoring the Victims of the Attack in Benghazi, Libya
HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE ATTACK IN BENGHAZI, LIBYA
- – - – - – -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
As a mark of respect for the memory of John Christopher Stevens, United States Ambassador to Libya, and American personnel killed in the senseless attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, September 16, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
The great service at the New York Times site, the Learning Network, notes the 1959 Dwight Eisenhower proclamation of Alaska as the 49th state, and the unveiling of the 49-star flag:
On Jan. 3, 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Alaska to the Union as the 49th state. The New York Times noted that the signing included the unveiling of the new 49-star American flag.
The land that became Alaska came into U.S. possession in 1867, when William Seward, secretary of state under President Andrew Johnson, negotiated a deal to buy the 586,000-square-mile area from Russia for $7.2 million, less than 2 cents per acre. Seward’s decision was ridiculed in the American press, who saw no potential in the vast, inhospitable and sparsely populated area.
For decades after its purchase, Alaska was derided as “Seward’s folly” or “Seward’s icebox.” This opinion changed in 1896 with the discovery of gold in the neighboring Yukon Territory, which spurred tens of thousands of people to head to Alaska in search of gold. The gold rush also brought about a boom in mining, fishing and trapping.
Though the first statehood bill had been presented to Congress in 1916, there was little desire in either Alaska or Washington for Alaskan statehood until after World War II. During the war, the U.S. established multiple military bases to resist Japan’s attacks on Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and prevent a potential invasion of the mainland. The military activity, along with the completion of a major highway from Montana, led to a large population growth.
In 1946, Alaskans voted in favor of statehood in a referendum and Alaskan delegates began to lobby Congress for statehood. After years of debate, Congress voted in June 1958 to admit Alaska.
Eight months after Alaska’s admission, on Aug. 21, 1957 [should be 1959, no?], Hawaii became the 50th state. The 49-star remained in place until the following July 4, when it was replaced by the now-familiar 50-star flag.
49-star flags were produced only until August 1959, so there are few of them around. I love this photo of the unveiling of the flag with President Eisenhower:
It had been about 47 years since the previous state admission (Arizona); people became aware that no law set what the flag should look like. President Eisenhower issued a directive.
How did the nation survive for 170 years without firm, decisive and conclusive orders on what the flag should look like? Isn’t it a great story that we went so long without law setting the requirements?
Alaska’s state flag came from the imagination of a 13-year-old Aleut, Benny Benson, winning a contest to design the state’s flag. Alaska’s flag stands out in any display of U.S. state flags.
Did I need to remind you to fly your flag today?
Wish I had more details on this photo — purported to be made of Corvettes:
Who dreams up this stuff?
Who dreams it up? A conclave called “Corvettes at Carlisle” (Pennsylvania):
Armed Forces Day honors those Americans who are, today, protecting our freedom, under arms, in the U.S. military services.
Veterans Day honors those who protected us in the past. Memorial Day honors those who died in our nation’s service, and those veterans who have passed on. Armed Forces Day honors and celebrates living Americans, to whom we owe immediate thanks.
Fly your flag today in their honor. Today is Armed Forces Day 2011.
The slogan on this year’s poster: Our Troops, and Those Supporting Them Back Home, Are United in Strength.
Previously, in Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub:
Leaving Corpus Christi can be a trial. It’s at least a 15 mile drive from the American Banking Center to Interstate 37, if you go by the Starbucks on Staples to get coffee for the drive back to Dallas. (It’s a 100-yard drive otherwise.)
Tourist that I am I drove Staples all the way back, to see the nitty-gritty of the town.
Must it be this gritty?
The flag above, if it can still be considered a flag, struggles to honor our nation at the corner of Staples and Craig Streets. Clearly this is not a flag that is retired at sundown, as the U.S. flag code urges. It looks as though it has been flying there for at least a year. Perhaps it has flown since September 11, 2001. Perhaps it has flown since the War of 1812.
When a flag becomes tattered, it should be mended, appropriate for a symbol of our nation. When it can no longer be repaired, it should be retired, according to the Congressional Research Service Report for Congress — The United States Flag: Federal Law Related to Display and Associated Questions (pages 11 and 12):
Destruction of Worn Flags
The Flag Code states:
The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.* The act is silent on procedures for burning a flag. It would seem that any procedure which is in good taste and shows no disrespect to the flag would be appropriate. The Flag Protection Act of 1989,38 struck down albeit on grounds unrelated to this specific point,39 prohibited inter alia “knowingly” burning of a flag of the United States, but excepted from prohibition “any conduct consisting of disposal of a flag when it has become worn or soiled.”
Do we have any readers in Corpus Christi? Could you drop by the shop where this flag is flown sometime through the week, and ask them to retire the flag, as an act of honor for our nation?
Palin, on the other hand, is featured in a full photo she posed for Runners World last year. A flattering photo, it also features a U.S. flag, which we’ll get back to in a moment.
“The choice of photo for the cover of this week’s Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this “news” magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant. The Runner’s World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness — a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation. The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention — even if out of context.
But look at the cover. Newsweek brands Palin as a problem — for Republicans. Is the sexism charge designed to divert attention from what Newsweek is saying, editorially?
Look at the display of the flag. Clearly out of flag code on all scores, it appears as if she’s using the flag much as an athletic towel. Now think of the rage the right worked up to when candidate Obama didn’t wear a flag lapel pin. Can you imagine the rage had any Democrat posed for a picture, leaning on the flag like that?
The photo reveals Palin and her handlers as ill-informed on the flag code, and willing to do almost anything to get a camera. I find it interesting that now, more than a year after she posed for the picture, she’s concerned about her showing of leg and not about the political issues raised by Newsweek.
Almost no one worries about the disrespect for the U.S. flag.
Update: Good commentary at Obsidian Wings — and note the first five or so comments. Smart readers there! Much the same at Majikthise.
President Obama issued a directive ordering all federal facilities to fly the national flag at half-staff from now until Veterans Day (November 11), to honor the soldiers and civilians felled at Fort Hood, Texas.
“It is an act of violence that would have been heartbreaking had it occurred anyplace in America,” Obama said. “It is a crime that would have horrified us had its victims been Americans of any background. But it’s all the more heartbreaking and all the more despicable because of the place where it occurred and the patriots who were its victims.”
The president said he met Friday with FBI Director Robert Mueller, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others to discuss their continuing investigation into the attack, which also injured at least 30.
Obama also expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and recognized those who helped the wounded after the shooting at the base’s Soldier Readiness Processing Center. The center is where soldiers go to have their teeth checked and medical records updated before deploying overseas.
“These are the men and women we honor today. These are the men and women we’ll honor on Veterans Day,” Obama said. “And these are the men and women we shall honor every day, in times of war and times of peace, so long as our nation endures.” (from the Virginian-Pilot, in Norfolk, Virginia)
Obama’s directive follows Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s order for flags in Texas to be flown half-staff until Monday.
Flag etiquette reminder: When flown at half-staff, the U.S. flag should be raised quickly to full staff, then lowered slowly to half-staff.
So far I’ve been able to learn that Joe Bruni is a firefighter. Beyond that, I don’t know much other than his YouTube series on flag etiquette is very good — not perfect, but very, very good.
In this episode he talks about carrying a flag. I wish he’d discussed it in terms of a flag ceremony, but he gets the basics right.
Younger Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies and Bluebirds will have difficulty holding a large flag and pole vertical — get a flag harness to help them out (usually less than $25.00 at Scout supply shops).
He’s got a bunch of these. I’ll pass them along as I get a chance to view them.
(Joe Bruni — who are you?)
Oh, it’s important in retrospect, no?
On June 10, 1898, U.S. Marines landed at Guantánamo Bay. For the next month, American troops fought a land war in Cuba that resulted in the end of Spanish colonial rule in the Western Hemisphere. Cuban rebels had gained the sympathy of the American public while the explosion and sinking of the U.S.S. Maine, widely blamed on the Spanish despite the absence of conclusive evidence, further boosted American nationalistic fervor.
On June 12, the area was secured and the flag posted.