Saturday 23 September 2017

Compulsory pledge

There's always some controversy in the USA over their "Pledge of allegiance". This is a kind of ceremony, in which you put your  right hand on your chest (roughly where your heart probably is) and chant "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Obviously, atheists object to the "under God" part, but there's a deeper problem.

Although, in theory, students at school are not compelled to take part, you can imagine what happenes when one child won't go along with it.

But here's the problem. If it's compulsory, or effectively compulsory, then it's meaningless.Everyone chanting the pledge, is doing so because they have to, not necessarily because they want to.

In the UK, of course, we have nothing like that. We don't wave our flag all the time, were not forever singing the dirge that is our national anthem. We just quietly get on with our lives. We know that Britain is best, so we don't have to keep boring on about it.

A song of patriotic predjudice - Flanders and Swann

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