Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

School authorities in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, decided not to require students of all ages to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. They said they couldn’t find time to put it in the schedule, etc., thereby both disappointing and puzzling local veterans, who were the ones who brought the issue up.

The “time” excuse was just that, of course. What the real reasons for the decision are, I don’t know, and will let others guess.

On the bright side, there are reasons not to require recitation of the Pledge. My qualms center on how un-American it seems. Veterans today often talk up the Flag, and the Pledge, etc., but the Founding Fathers took allegiance seriously, and they didn’t secede from Great Britain to pledge their sacred honors to a symbol — a fighting banner too easily unanchored from the best part of the short declaration, “with liberty and justice for all.”

Besides, the Pledge was written in the late 19th century by Francis Bellamy, a Christian socialist who targeted the Pledge at those sectors of society that he most feared: immigrants, anyone prone to “radicalism.” And yet when I read his political agenda, I see the very radical ideas that corrupted American politics away from limited government.

Worse yet, Bellamy devised an ominous salute to go with his recitation. (Thankfully, that was modified to the hand-on-heart gesture in 1942, when Congress officially adopted the Pledge.)

I’d rather students learn about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Substance, not symbol; law, not fiction.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Drik says:

    I pledge allegiance to the FEDERATION of republics for which it stands.

  2. Rob says:

    “I’d rather students learn about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Substance, not symbol; law, not fiction.”

    Paul, not only do I completely agree with your last statement, but I would wager the veterans would, too.

    Let us have civics over politics.

  3. Brian Wright says:

    Paul, great column and thanks for shedding light on the original pledge and its motivation. I knew it had to be something like that, but had forgotten the details. Also, that’s the first time I’ve heard of the Bellamy gesture. Awesome that we had enough gumption in some of our individualistic ancestry to eliminate that. Hand over heart is more subtle, but because of that perhaps more dangerous in the long run. Especially with the toxic mindset of American exceptionalism.

  4. Laurence says:

    Worst column I have read by you in the several years I have been reading your work on an almost daily basis.

    Veterans, of course, realize that the flag is just a symbol, standing for far many more things than the few you mentioned above. We veterans hold the flag in reverence because of all that it stands for and not for the colorful stripes and stars. It would be difficult to to display the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution, the concept of “liberty and justice for all”, and everything else, on a flag pole or jacket lapel, thus the flag symbol works nicely.

    And, Vets realize that one’s right not to say a pledge to ANYTHING is embedded in the flag’s symbolism. Pretty insulting that you would think otherwise…many of us HAVE pledged and continue to pledge) our lives as well as our sacred honor for what you call,”the best part of the short deceleration”.

  5. Leon says:

    I totally agree with Laurence and totally disagree with you Paul
    Millions of Americans have died carrying the Flag of the U.S. into war and I for one will continue to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States. Unlike the illegal aliens who like to tear our flag down and run theirs up the flag pole in place of Ole Glory and then want amnesty and citizenship.
    One Flag, One Nation Under God.

  6. Larry Chavis says:

    Paul, I agree wholeheartedly with your remarks. I have always felt uncomfortable with the Pledge. As you say, if feels un-American to me. It too often equates to an unquestioning allegiance to the government, whereas true patriotism often requires opposition to the government, to defend the COUNTRY.

  7. Ted Berthelote says:

    I totally agree with Larry and commend you, Paul, for this excellent insight into how the Statists have used propaganda techniques so successfully against our personal freedom. Government worship, as opposed to respect for the people of this country, is regularly promoted without this sort of critical thinking on the part of the mass-man.

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