Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Pledge Allegiance To The Flag

I was thinking about writing my recap of Nebraska's football season tonight an collecting my thoughts when I got to thinking about The Nebraska-Kansas State game. Not so much the game itself but the fact that they actually had us stand while the PA Guy lead the crowd in the pledge of Allegiance. Now I have been to plenty of sporting events and have seen several pregame displays of patriotism that have ranged from the understandable, The National Anthem, the pre-game ceremony at Missouri in 2001 (It was their first game after (9-11) to the ridiculous, bands playing proud to be an American, to the horrific, recordings of Lee Greenwood singing proud to be an American. But this was the first time I actually witnessed the crowd being led in the pledge of Allegiance. At the time I leaned over to the Contessa and whispered "I Can't fucking believe this" and stood up and gave a half -assed Pledge Of Allegiance not caring to make it an issue and laughing at the thought of suddenly being in 3rd grade again with 48,000 class mates. And if for one minute I thought those around me were taking this seriously I would have said fuck it and just stayed seated. I can tell you that 98% of those people there, who I am sure were 85% Republican were just as "patriotic" in their delivery of the pledge as I was.

I'll stand up and sing the National Anthem with my hand on my heart and I won't even yell CORNHUSKERS or Wildcats when they get to "and the home of the " part like all the other patrotic Americans did. I get that don't have a problem with it. But I pledge allegiance to the flag? One Nation under God? No. not here and frankly not anywhere. The more I think about this the more I actually get somewhat...angry about it. The fact that this is the only place I have seen this makes me less angery about it. but what if more stadiums and events start this? I know this is an worn out analogy but isn't making one take allegiance to the flag at a sporting event that has nothing to do with National security or patriotism a little allegiance Nazisish? Who are these people to question my loyalty to the flag that I have to make a public display for them? This is not a Soccer game between the United States and Mexico. One's loyalty to Bush and Country was not at question here. The only people I stood in disagreement with were Kansans rooting for Kansas State and it wasn't because I questioned their patriotism it was because they were fucking Kansans rooting for fucking Kansas State. And even then it was good natured this wasn't the Jews and The Palestinians.

If I go back to Manhattan for a game and again we are asked to stand for the Pledge I do believe I'll politely say fuck no. I payed $80 for this ticket and I'll stand for the national anthem and I'll stand for your dopey ass school song but the only flag I am pledging allegiance to today is that red one with a white N on it.

I will ask you, I was going to make a poll question out of this but the dicknuts would just spike it.

If You're At an event where you are asked to stand and give the pledge of Allegiance would you:

A. Stand And Recite It.
B. Stand And Not Recite It.
C. Stay Seated and Refuse To Recite It.


et said...

I would probably stand and not recite...just as when we go to the lessons & carols service that ET Daughter sings at every year in her school choir, I stand when we're "supposed" to but don't sing the hymn. I figure doing less than standing doesn't demonstrate what I always tell her about respecting other people's beliefs when you're in their "house," even if you don't agree with them...but doing more than standing would cross the line into compromising one's own.

When I was in Grade 8 (early 70s, Watergate and Vietnam and all that) my homeroom refused to say the Pledge one day. This incurred incredible wrath from the "bad cop" Vice Principal.

Honestly I think it's all window-dressing. Pledge yourself to ideals or to the Constitution or something more meaningful than a piece of cloth....

Anonymous said...

Could not agree more ET. :)

Anonymous said...

You make a good point about just standing and saying nothing.

et said...

You make a good point about just standing and saying nothing.

Glad to hear you say so, Count. Honestly, my first and most immediate instinct is just to clam up, sit down and do nothing at all, in cases like that...but then I think about what I try to convey to ET Daughter about where the boundaries between mutual human respect and an individual's freedom of conscience/expression lie, and it seems that sometimes the "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" gesture is the best option.

At the very least, my refusal to participate in the pledge or hymn or whatever satisfies ME, and presumably my standing up satisfies those around me to a degree they would be embarrassed to it's all good.

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