I read in the Post this afternoon that a 13-year-old Germantown girl was punished and ridiculed for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance Predictably, there have been accusations of anti-Americanism, Liberalism, and the Mohammedan heresy, among other things.
With all that puffing in mind, it’s worth bringing up the origins of the pledge. It was written by a Francis Bellamy, a Massachusetts socialist and flag salesman in the 1890s who was aiming to instill national pride. A product of the Civil War generation, he also wanted to emphasize the permanent national unity of the United States, which was much looser in concept before Appomattox. The pledge was meant to be accompanied by a salute, pictured above, and it was a major component of a national pride celebration held on – of all days – Columbus Day.
So, it might not quiet any shriekers, but the next time someone tells you we should force children to pledge their loyalty to the state, please kindly do remind them of what the Bellamy salute looks like.