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Further Thoughts on Pledge
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I looked at the pictures scim referenced in his comment and, yes, the salute certainly looks like it. I hadn't seen those pictures in many years, and I had forgotten.

Personal note: In high school I refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. I stood in respect with the other students, but I refused to recite it.

Naturally, I was sent to the headmaster's office to explain myself, which I did by saying, "I haven't forgotten my love for my country overnight, and I do not need to repeat my promise of loyalty to the republic every day. I'm smarter than that."

Pretty arrogant thing to say, in the uptight times of the late 50's, but they left me alone after that. And I continued not saying the Pledge.

It helped that I was the top student in the school academically and active in the student government and at my graduation scooped up the majority of the honors. What were they going to say? That I didn't know what I was talking about?

Many years later as a teacher I found myself unable to lead my classes in the Pledge of Allegiance until we had had three civics lessons in which I taught the students what the words of the Pledge meant and facilitated a discussion group during which the students talked about what it meant to them to say the Pledge and to declare their loyalty to their country.

I could not countenance their saying by rote something they neither understood nor agreed with, just because an authority figure (me) said to do it. The school administration and the parents backed me up, and that was a great feeling!

That was also before the more rigid attitudes we currently encounter.

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