Before you accuse me of being unpatriotic let me tell you a few things about myself, I have served in the United States Marine Corps with multiple combat deployments and have spend a shade under a decade training for and deploying overseas in the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq. I proudly fly the Flag of the United States of America at my home, because I believe in what it stood for, but not how it acts currently or even in modern history. I am a patriot through and through and believe the United States was once the beacon of Liberty in the world, and that liberty still beats in the hearts of many which gives me hope for our future.
Please read the entire article before you past judgement, I don’t believe everyone will agree with me even after reading it, however I don’t think that you will come away without having moments of pause as well.
History behind the Pledge
In 1892 the pledge of allegiance was born, Daniel Sharp Ford was the owner of a magazine called “Youth’s Companion” and he felt that barely 3 decades after the war between the states that the United States was still in need of some sort of patriotic boost. Part of the campaign he launched involved one of his staff, Francis J. Bellamy to compose a pledge of allegiance to the flag; Bellamy was an author and minister as well as staunch advocate of Christian Socialism. The pledge was written and published and soon became very popular across the country at schools, campground and other public meetings as well as Congress itself.
Now Mr. Bellamy felt that it was strange to just stand there limply and recite the pledge of allegiance so he devised a “salute” to accompany the recitation of the pledge of allegiance, that involved extending your right arm, angling it slightly upwards with fingers pointing towards the flag. This salute was not controversial until WWII, as you can imagine from the picture below…it very much resembled the Nazi/Fascist salute and thus became to be discomforting for Americans to be doing the near same thing as our enemies were in Europe.
In 1942 weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor Congress amended the Flag Code and stated that the pledge should be said while “standing with the right hand over the heart”. This has become the familiar pledge stance, however one cannot forget the eerie photos above, and just because we are saluting ‘our’ flag does not mean that the sentiment of blind obedience is not present as well.
What does the pledge say and why do I no longer say it?
The current pledge reads as follows (with the section “under God” being added in 1954)
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.
I have a few nitpicky issues such as pledging allegiance to a government that does not care about the rights of it citizens, or referring to ourselves as a Republic when we are no longer a Republican Federalist system (not since Lincoln).
However my main issue is with the phrase “One Nation…., indivisible”
This harkens back to a early time in our history, I don’t want to write 15 pages for this post so if you want to do more digging you can, however from the very onset of our nation there were two groups of ideological thinking; The Jeffersonians, who believed that a large centralized Government was harmful to liberty and that states as sovereigns where the best chance at protecting that liberty from a large centralized state and the Hamiltonians who believed that a large federal government, a central bank, imperial ambitions overseas and domestically was necessary to a “strong” government, basically that a strong large government was more important that individual liberties (you can see I am not a Hamiltonian).
For 70+ years the Hamiltonian thinkers were kept at bay mostly by Southern interest who did not believe in central banks, paper currency, heavy tarriffs to protect industrial interests, etc.
Central Banks and Paper Currency and their problems should be quite obvious by now, if they are not, then I don’t know what else will convince you short of a total economic collapse and even then im sure you can reason your way around it!
Southern Politicians were most against Tariffs because they hurt the south more, the South produced about 3/4 of the output of America at the time, while the North was becoming more industrialized, large business interests and corporations in the North had long wanted and had been somewhat successful at times in introducing heavy tariffs for imported goods. This hurt the South the most because of the fact the South imported much of their products and with a tariff they were forced to pay higher prices to Northern Businesses, a kickback from increased Tariff revenue was also with handing out subsidized loans and payments to Northern Business like railroads and steel for projects that wer never completed and rife with corruption a “twofer” for northern corporations and a early taste of the corporate welfare we still have today.
Lincoln was a hardcore believer in the ideals of the Whig party which held as planks of their ideals, heavy tariffs, centralized government and subsidized (and corruption rife) domestic ‘internal improvements’ (i.e. paying railroads to build railroads). This was Lincolns agenda all along and one doesn’t have to dig too far to realize he didn’t give two craps about slavery his main goal was to institute these programs but could not with Southern opposition. A digress back to slavery, the main reasoning behind the fight to stop slavery from expanding to the territories, for Lincoln, not speaking about the moral issue, was to kill votes for democrats (southerners) from expanding, pure and simple. It is also interesting to note that the Emancipation proclamation was only set to ‘free slaves’ in the areas of the south where the federal troops had no jurisdiction. In pro union slave areas no slaves were set free after the emancipation proclamation, this proclamation was aimed at trying to start a slave rebellion while most southern men were gone at war, this was not a moral decision, but a military one. Lincoln also had rejected the idea of compensated emancipation, a way that all other slave holding countries had solved the problem, by paying those who had slaves a set rate and requiring their freedom upon payment, this was a much less costly way of ending the slave debate, however Lincoln rejected this and had long believed that all slaves should be sent to Africa or central America upon emancipation as they were not equals to whites.
Anyways I know this may seem inconsequential to the pledge, however it all starts with the War Between the States
*Another side not, a Civil war is one where a group wants to overthrow the current government of a country and rule it themselves, the south had no wish to rule the whole of the United States, only for each of the states of the Confederacy to just leave, thus it was a war between states and not a civil war*
Basically there are two schools of thought, that the States created the Government or that the government created the states. Those who say that secession is treasonous or that there IS no right for a state to secede is saying that somehow the Government of the United States predated the states themselves and the colonies that predated them. This is on its face and in fact absurd. There is no way that a Federal Government existed before the states since the STATES HAD TO RATIFY THE CONSTITUTION TO CREATE IT! In fact numerous states reserved the right IN THE VERY RATIFICATION of the Constitution that they could secede if the federal government became tyrannical or if it was just no longer in that States interest to be part of the ‘Union’.
The Constitution was a contract with the people, but the people of each state, the states as they ratified it were voluntarily giving some of their sovereignty to the Federal Government, but were not abdicating it completely. As with any contract if one party felt that the compact was no longer valid or had been violated they would be free from this obligation. Also since there is not statement of “perpetual union” there was no requirement that upon ratification that they were obligated to stay as part of this compact forever, there is not time agreement at all thus this contract is only valid as long as both parties agree to it.
What Lincoln did before the war started and during it (and his groupies continued to peddle this lie afterward) was to make people believe that secession was treason, that it was illegal and there was no basis or right to do so. As I hope you can see this is not true, secession is a weapon of last resort for a sovereign people to regain the rights they feel have been violated, it is not a simple and easy thing to come to, but it is still a right.
So finally back to the Pledge, with the words “indivisible” the pledge is perpetuating this lie that there is not right to leave the compact, that is something that i cannot agree to. Each state has the right to leave whenever they feel they have no other recourse to regain their liberties. Much like a Home owners association when you join it you are giving up some of your rights (god help you if you do move into one!), such as what you can paint your house, decorations, etc. When you enter into this agreement you are saying yes to this, however if later this HOA decides that you can no longer own a certain type of vehicle or that you are not allowed to bring friends over that are of a certain color or religion you may rightfully say that this is not the agreement you had. But the difference is you can leave at any time, if Lincoln was the HOA president then he would send security guards to beat you and burn your house down to make sure that you continue to part of this ‘voluntary’ union.
In no way do I believe that Slavery was “ok”, I think it is an abomination to any people or country. I however can’t throw out the baby with the bath water, the North did not invade the South to stop slavery and the South did not fight to keep slavery, the issue was states rights with slavery used as a backdrop by revisionist historians who don’t want people to know the full truth. That it was corporate welfare, cronyism and bloated government that was the cause and the underlying reason.
If you still feel that I am not patriotic and Hate America because I wont recite a pledge written by a socialist that denies the very rights that this nation was founded on, Well…I don’t know what else to say.
If you want more information on what i explained briefly in here please comment below and I can point you in the right direction.
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