Declaring my allegiance

One sentiment that pisses me off to no end, and reached a head yesterday afternoon, can be summarized as this:

If you aren’t willing to recite the pledge of allegiance, then you must not understand the freedoms that our flag represents. Why do you hate the flag and the republic and the freedoms we all cherish? Perhaps you should spend some time in an oppressive regime to fully understand how good we have it and then you’ll come crawling back to the US and will proclaim the pledge willingly and with an open and thankful heart.

If you’ve read any amount of my blog, you’ve likely come across the articles where I’ve utterly decimated the pledge of allegiance (here, here and here). My problem with the pledge of allegiance, as those articles make very abundantly clear, is not just with "under God", it’s with the whole… fucking… thing. By the way, if you think the pledge of allegiance was composed by one of the Founding Fathers or otherwise written at any time close to the ratification of the Constitution, you are in serious need of an education. But we’ll set aside the many misconceptions people have about the pledge of allegiance as I’ve already addressed those. So moving on…

If you are going to say to me or even entertain the thought in your mind that I do not understand or appreciate how good we’ve got it in the United States, or imply that my refusal to recite the pledge of allegiance somehow makes me less of an American than you or anyone else, then I’ve got a short response to whet your palate: shut the fuck up and pay attention.

I am the son of a Navy veteran who served this country for a very exemplary 12 years. He enlisted in the Navy at 19 and excelled through the ranks to make Chief Petty Officer (E-7) in just over 8 years. I am the grandson of another Navy veteran who served during the Korean War. I am the grand-nephew of a Marine killed in the South Pacific in 1943. Their service and sacrifice for this country alone gives me all I need to appreciate how good we have it in this country, but I’m not going to stop there.

The Marine who died in the South Pacific is the son of Hungarian immigrants who came to this country through Ellis Island in 1914. If I have to explain to you what occurred in 1914, and why a mixture of 1914 and Hungarian in the same sentence actually means something, I have to question the quality of your history education. And that is just the start of my family’s colorful history.

So let’s make sure this is clear.

I fully appreciate the freedoms we enjoy as Citizens of the United States, probably more so than most people, including those accusing me of being somehow less American because I won’t recite the pledge of allegiance. Perhaps that’s because I know and have studied the history behind it. Did that thought ever pop into your mind?

I know full well how good we have it in the United States, so don’t you dare try to tell me otherwise simply because I might disagree with you with regard to a statement written by a Christian socialist 103 years after the ratification of the Constitution and 116 years after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Don’t you dare imply that I’m somehow less of an American because I refuse to recite the pledge of allegiance.

My allegiance is with the document that protects the freedoms that you and I exercise on a daily basis. My allegiance is with the document that transcends the very government that is every day chipping away at those freedoms in subtle but important ways. My allegiance is NOT with something that is a product of that government (the flag) or that government or the State (the republic).

My allegiance is with the Constitution of the United States of America.

Where is your allegiance, Citizen?