14 June 2006

Flag Day

In honour of Flag Day, I have taken the liberty to express my freedom by taking some poetic license with the Pledge of Allegiance. While I do consider myself to be patriotic and a proponent of the ideals upon which this country was founded, I am saddened when reality falls short of those ideals. I am appalled by fanatics who staunchly believe that this government can do or has done no wrong and when I see the hypocrisy in the killing of innocents in the name of freedom and liberty. I deplore the jingoism and and nationalistic tone of so many Americans especially in the post-nine-eleven era.

Every Friday at noon in my hometown, factions from both side of this debate gather at the main intersection as they have in earnest since the start of this so-called non-war in Iraq. On one corner you have the Women in Black keeping their silent protest. On the opposite corner you have a flag waving, "Honk if you love our troops" guy saluting and standing at attention. As well as other individuals, a clergy member and regular citizens who all assemble together, on each of the four corners with their signs of protest and "Thou Shall Not Kill". My silent recognition, shows which side of the street I throw my own allegiance in with.

Today the local Boy Scout troop has put out flags up and down each side of the main thoroughfare as they do on each national holiday. That's ok with me, it's part of the charm of living in a small town. I was a Girl Scout in my youth. I was a Colour Guard. I was taught to respect the flag of our country.

And while I do honour the traditions of this country and respect it's heritage, I realise that we are now, more than ever, global citizens and our prosperity can not be at the expense of others. If we truly wish to live in peace, we cannot be simultaneously disturbing the peace of others. And in keeping with this thought I have changed the wording of the traditional pledge to the following.

"I pledge allegiance to all the flags not just the United States of America and to the Republics for which they stand, one world, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

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