The Pseudo-Patriotism of the Pledge of Allegiance

The Washington Times is the more conservative of the two traditional newspapers published for our nation’s capital. The editors decided to publish a story about rather obscure events in Hampden, Maine—a town of fewer than 5000 persons just southwest of Bangor. They seem to think that their readership would be interested to know that a couple of the town councilmen have stopped standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Brann, who’s served on the council for 14 years, told The Blaze that he didn’t care for the reason Mayor Carol Duprey gives for reciting the pledge during brief introductory remarks at each meeting. She says the pledge is aimed at paying tribute for those Americans “currently serving in harm’s way,” Mr. Brann said.

But that’s not true, he said.

Rather, pledging to the flag is a tribute to “every single person supporting the Constitution,” not just for combat military members, Mr. Brann said. The council shouldn’t leave all the others out when they salute the flag, he said.

If she stopped saying that phrase, Mr. Brann said he would start standing for the pledge.

“For me, that would be enough,” he said, to The Blaze.

But Ms. Duprey said to The Blaze that she wasn’t even at the latest meeting in February and that the pledge was held without any introduction at all — yet Mr. Brann refused to stand. Also at that meeting, another council member refused to stand, a video of the meeting indicated.

That council member, William Shakespeare, told a local newspaper, the Bangor Daily News, that he was patriotic yet thought it “ludicrous” to make council members take the pledge.

I don’t know what are the motives of these men, but I don’t think conservatives should care about the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Pledge was not written until 1892. So that tells you that generations of patriots lived and died without needing to recite a pledge.

The author of the Pledge was the nationalist and socialist Francis Bellamy. His brother was the more famous socialist Edward Bellamy, and you can get a taste for the socialist thinking of these men by reading his best-selling novel about life at the year 2000, Looking Backward. The Bellamy brothers nationalistic and socialistic commitments were common to similar movements in other countries. Perhaps the most startling illustration of this is by looking at the original salute of the flag.


Look familiar?

Conservatives should care about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. The pledge to one indivisible nation is not a part of our original heritage. The author of the Pledge was plainly doing his best to bring about a fundamental transformation of American life, culture, and politics.

I realize that it is fashionable for Leftists to oppose the Pledge of Allegiance. But that is not enough to make the Pledge worthy of conservative support.