[sixties-l] the flag and the pledge

From: Michael Garrison (mgarrison@localaccess.com)
Date: Tue Jun 27 2000 - 00:32:12 CUT

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    After the sixties, including facing American troops in the streets and
    fighting the government, I had a real hard time (and still do) with the flag
    b.s. and the "honoring" symbols, especially the Pledge of Allegiance. I
    considered myself a citizen of the world, especially after felony problems
    cost me most of my American citizenship perks. Inside my home this wasn't
    much of a problem. As my kids sat on my lap and asked me: "What did you do
    in the war, daddy?" I was proud to tell them: "Your daddy fought the
    American army in the war."
    That left public issues. I didn't care to burn or dishonor the flag, I just
    treated it like the symbol of someone else's religion. To be honest, when I
    was younger and really pissed off, I just sat it out and refused to
    acknowledge any ceremony...that caused some problems in the conservative
    communities I lived in. For many years I avoided problems by managing to be
    absent during the services before ball games etc. "There goes dad" the boys
    would say, as I left for the bathroom before the flag service. Strange
    times were when I met other men in the halls or bathrooms who were avoiding
    the experience also. Our eyes met and I wanted to talk, were they
    ex-veterans, ex-protestors but we both couldn't start it so each time we
    departed in silence.
    As I mellowed out over the years I could stand as the pledge/anthem took
    place, as one would wear a hat in a synagogue, but could not participate.
    This worked most of the time but I still waited for the announcer to
    say..."And after the game, join me in lynching that guy in the third row who
    wouldn't say the pledge." Some years ago I wrote my own pledge that I could
    say and since it started and ended the same, with the same number of
    syllables, it works pretty good. Here it is: "I pledge allegiance to the
    future of the human race and to the survival of the world upon which it
    lives, many species, interactive, codependent, with liberty and justice for
    all." This bailed me out when I got in the middle of a situation I couldn't
    avoid. I only got caught once when some guy turned to me after the Pledge
    and asked: "What the hell was that?" Oh well, we just do what we can to
    get by. Peace, Mike. Mike Garrison, mgarrison@localaccess.com

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