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IPFS News Link • Education: Government Schools

The Pledge of Allegiance and Government Schools

•, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Los Angeles Times has an interesting article today by Nicholas Goldberg about the Pledge of Allegiance. Goldberg praises those independent-minded students and parents who have challenged its enforcement in public (i.e., government) schools. 

The Pledge of Allegiance has been used as a symbol of patriotism for more than 100 years. Today, it is recited by children in public schools and and also by adults at various events.

Conservatives are among the most ardent proponents of the Pledge. That's ironic because it was written by a self-avowed socialist, a man named Edward Bellamy. Conservatives profess to oppose socialism and support "free enterprise."

One of the funniest parts of the history of the Pledge was the manner in which public-school students were expected to recite it. American students were long expected to extend their right arms outward while reciting the Pledge. You know, like the Nazi salute. Officials decided, for appearance's sake, to change it to the right hand over the heart.

Another interesting aspect to the Pledge is that our American ancestors lived without it for the first 100 years of American history. I guess proponents of the Pledge would say that they weren't very patriotic. 

It is also interesting to note that the Pledge came into existence during the time that American socialists were moving the country in the direction of a welfare state. In 1913, for example, the Sixteenth Amendment (progressive income taxation) to the Constitution was enacted and the Federal Reserve System was called into existence. That was followed by the economic revolution that took place in the 1930s that converted America into a welfare state, which is a variation of socialism.