Tea Party Patriots Ordinary citizens reclaiming America's founding principles.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I pledge allegiance to the flag....

One of my childhood memories in a small school in Boise, Idaho, was the daily pledge of allegiance. The class began every day, drawing attention to the American flag. We would put our hands over our hearts and begin, in unison, “I pledge allegiance to the flag....” I may not have understood all of the history of our great country, and how the pledge of allegiance came to be. But as a child, I do remember the quiet reverence and respect for our flag. And about the many that fought and died for our country.

Now, times are a changing. Our great nation has become filled with a society of wimps. People who are so bothered with the thought of offending someone that they will immediately stop whatever the offended claims is an "offense." We seem to always be compromising. But along with being politically correct, comes forgetting where you came from and how our nation came to be. One thing I'm sure of, our founding fathers were not sissies. They crafted a constitution that has enabled us to live free, and to be the envy of other nations. They understood the need for government with a balance, and many gave up everything they had to create a free nation.

It seems that most on the Oberlin School board have forgotten that. The educators clearly need some educating, starting with American history. Across this country it’s becoming acceptable in more and more schools to give children birth control pills and condoms without parental consent. They’re counseled on respecting those of different sexual orientation. They are taught to respect other cultures, but what about our own? When will people take a stand in Oberlin and use the pledge of allegiance as a daily reminder of respect for “our” nation, and “our” flag. The Oberlin school board has decided, and arrogantly I might add, that the pledge that could help teach respect for our country, and our flag, instead might offend. I would urge these board members to think very carefully about what their decision means.

Shawn Marsin has been in the thick of this debate with the Oberlin school board. Reporting on the last meeting, Shawn wrote what the Oberlin school boards initial "compromise" was.
"Citing the pledge of allegiance is not a part of each structured school day. However, at least once and no more than five times each month, as determined by the building principal, the pledge of allegiance shall be read over the public address system in each school building. The pledge of allegiance is an acknowledgment of the freedoms enjoyed by Americans, which includes the rights of dissent and freedom of expression. Teachers are responsible for ensuring that in each classroom no student is to be compelled to join in reciting the pledge, nor shall any student be compelled to refrain from reciting the pledge. Any incidence of hazing, discrimination, bullying, or other form of disparagement of a student choice regarding recitation of the pledge will be considered a major disciplinary infraction and will be referred to the principal for consequences.
The pledge of allegiance and the accompanying preamble will be read together on all occasions of recitation of the pledge: "All students are equally welcome to remain silent or to join in reciting the pledge of allegiance; I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
In addition, the Superintendent shall issue Administrative Guidelines to assure that the Pledge of Allegiance and its historical context will be taught at an appropriate level of sophistication as part of the curriculum in each grade level.

To the Oberlin school board members: You either understand the significance of the pledge or you don’t. Writing a sanitized version by removing Under God, limiting the times it can be said, and bending over backwards to make sure somebody’s feelings don’t get hurt is wimpy and half-assed at best. There are however, people like Paula Jones, vice-president of the Oberlin board who does get it. She voted no to the proposed policy because of the changes and believes that the pledge of allegiance should be said not only daily, but in the way Congress intended.

If someone doesn’t want to show respect and recite the pledge, then that is their right. But the arrogance of rewriting a pledge from 1892, that was revised by President Eisenhower in 1952, to something you find more socially acceptable, is a slap in the face to the every man and women who have given their lives for this country. While you read this, someone is dying in defense of our freedoms while you cower because some find it distasteful and you choose the easier route.

Are you saying that it is bad to love our traditions, our heritage, our country, the flag of the United states of America for which literally hundreds of thousands have died? All because a small minority of people objects, the Oberlin School board will again choose to stomp on the traditions of our nation. I’m reminded of a quote, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” It’s time to stand up for right, or little by little, our freedoms and traditions will continue to be eroded by political correctness.

The pledge of allegiance is an opportunity to teach American history. It is an opportunity to teach respect and gratitude for the flag and our nation. Especially in today’s society, when it’s needed more than ever, it would be nice to know that some Oberlin children can also experience that same daily moment of reverence and reflection for the freedoms we enjoy. I love my country, and I won’t apologize for it. One does not have to live here. But I do believe that whether you are here as a citizen or a visitor, respect for our heritage should be expected, as it is in every other country.

Too many seem to have forgotten, or just don’t know, that most of George Washington’s army fought through the winter of 1776 with little equipment, and without shoes on their feet. They suffered sickness and poverty, the likes of which I can barely comprehend. Many of them were just boys. They fought for their posterity, they fought for us. They fought and died for our flag and all it represents.

On Monday I attended the Parma Memorial Day parade with some of my fellow Cleveland tea party patriots. I had the opportunity to stand among veterans of Vietnam and Iraq. As the flag was raised, our hands went over our hearts and in unison we recited the pledge of allegiance. As I began the words “I pledge Allegiance to the flag…” I fought back tears as I thought of the unimaginable sacrifices these men standing in my midst made for everyone of us. I thought of what an incredible honor it was to be with them on that day. Many of them left quickly afterwards to go leave flowers on the graves of their buddies who fought and died beside them. The pledge of allegiance is not meaningless, outdated, irrelevent, or politically incorrect. The pledge of allegiance is an honor to have.

Contact the school board here.



  1. We really have become a nation of wimps! Why has this society become so fearful of offending somebody? I heard about this on the radio this morning: apparently some of the students are Dutch/U.S. dual citizens, or children of dual citizens, who might be offended by the daily recitation of the Pledge. Come on, people! Those dual citizens CHOSE to live in the United States. If they are offended by public acts of patriotism maybe they should have chosen differently.

  2. The pledge of allegiance should be said daily and in the version that congress has approved. (with the term "under God")

    I voted the proposed policy down because it was not acceptable for the children of our community.

    Paula Jones
    Vice President
    Oberlin Board of Education

  3. Thank you so very much Paula. You are a patriot and I salute your courage to speak out on this issue.

  4. This is such a well written blog. Standing amongst veterans many of whom lost friends in defense of our country really brings the reality of this home. While they faced death and loss for love of our country some people back here at home didn't even have the courage to stand up for the Pledge. The Pledge of Allegience is an honour to have.

  5. Mrs. Jones,

    As a member of the Tea party Patriots I also salute you for being the lone school board member against this full frontal attack against our "Pledge."

    I understand you cannot speak on their behalf, but I must ask...

    Since all of our currency bears, "In God We Trust," and the school board does not want God mentioned in the schools, and they refuse saying the pledge - which honors our country... I'm thinking it is only logical that they would not want any of this money printed by the government they refuse to acknowledge.

    This only makes sense to me.

    Mrs. Jones, I think you just created and won our first award... Tea Party Patriot of the Week!

  6. ***Sent to Oberlin "Skool Bored" Members via Email***

    Dear Oberlin School Board Members,

    I have been made aware of the recent issues and your vote on saying the Pledge of allegiance in your schools. I have to say I am glad you voted down the Superintendents proposal. The Superintendent proposal was far short of what I believe was the parents request.

    With that, I would ask either stand on your principles and integrity by doing one of the following;

    1.) Allow the Pledge of Allegiance to be said on a daily basis by all students wishing to say the Pledge. Allow it to be the choice of the child and parent, if the phrase "Under God" is included during the recital.

    If option #1 is unacceptable, then I would respectfully request - you stand on your reasoning & integrity by following option #2...

    2.) As the U.S. currency bears, "In God We Trust," and the school board does not want God mentioned in the schools, it would only bear witness that any local, county, state and federal funding would also be rejected on this basis.

    Moreover, since the U.S. currency is printed by the U.S. Government, which is symbolized by the U.S. Flag and acknowledged through reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, it is only prudent that your actions remain consistent and you reject any government funding.

    Personally, I do not agree with your decision of refusing American children the right to say the Pledge of Allegiance, as I find it anti-American, but I will ask the you remain consistent in your decision making process.

    Your responses can be emailed back to me at this address. I am confident a quick decision on choosing between option #1 or #2 will be forthcoming.

    Thank You,

    Ralph King
    Tea Party Patriots
    Cleveland Chapter

  7. Mrs. Jones, I applaud you for not being one of the wimps!

    And way to go, Ralph!

  8. Glynn, your letter brought tears to my eyes. I, too applaud Mrs. Jones, and I can assure the school board that this issue is not going away. Since you have chosen to table it for the summer, that simply gives us a couple of months to encourage more and more of the Silent Majority to find their voices. The politicians we have hired who no longer do their best to represent their constiuents will also be recieving a new "Wake Up Call" when they are voted from their comfortable cushy offices and lifestyles. The Conservative tide is turning at a rapid pace, as Washington D.C. has finally gone too far.


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