Why I Do Not Pledge Allegiance to the Flag

I do not pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.

This pledge—a mechanically-repeated affirmation of loyalty inculcated in children by rote—is the legacy of the socialist progressive movement in the late 1800s. Its author, Francis Bellamy, was a self-avowed “Christian socialist” (who loved to preach that “Jesus was a Socialist”) whose primary intention in creating the pledge was to encourage children to worship the State and revere centralized authority. Francis’ cousin and co-conspirator, Edward Bellamy, was an author whose utopian novel Looking Backward trailed in popularity at the time only to Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Ben Hur. A decade later he published Equality as a sequel, which expanded upon the ideas he has promoted in the first novel.

Looking Backward told of a future America where socialism reigned supreme; eventually surpassing one million copies, the book was translated into 20 languages. The protagonist of the book goes to sleep one night in 1887 and wakes up in the year 2000, where American industries have been nationalized and everybody earns the same income. The theories and policies promoted in this book—which were essentially Marxist in ideology—were termed “Nationalism” by Edward and his cousin Francis, who were both key spokesmen for the movement.

The Bellamy cousins were not obscure figures spouting ideas into an echo chamber, but influential advocates of centralized government whose Nationalist movement saw the rise of 167 clubs across the country. John Dewey, father of the current government school system and a socialist himself, once referred to Edward Bellamy as a “Great American Prophet” and wrote:

What Uncle Tom’s Cabin was to the anti-slavery movement Bellamy’s book may well be to the shaping of popular opinion for a new social order. … It accords with American psychology in breathing the atmosphere of hope.

While Edward was the writer, Francis might be termed the “doer”. While Vice President in charge of education for the Society for Christian Socialists, Francis made a connection with one Daniel Ford, editor of a religious publication named The Youth’s Companion. Networking with other advocates of socialism and nationalization, including the then-president of the National Education Association (NEA), William Harris, who himself strongly advocated for the Prussian system of education and a centralized authority requiring the subservience and allegiance of the individual, Francis worked on a program to teach American youth the importance of loyalty to the government.

In 1892, under Harris’ leadership, the NEA supported a National Public School Celebration which promoted loyalty to both the government and its schools. The core agenda was offered up by The Youth’s Companion, and Francis Bellamy was asked to be the chairman of the celebration. Speaking during the event, Bellamy stated that “the training of citizens in the common knowledge and the common duties of citizenship belongs irrevocably to the State.” As part of the program he organized, Bellamy drafted a pledge to be recited by the youth in attendance as a way of encouraging loyalty to the government.

Though it has changed in minor ways since its creation, Bellamy’s pledge is largely what is today called the Pledge of Allegiance. After its introduction at this conference, Bellamy had it published in The Youth’s Companion. The following months and years found the pledge, with Bellamy’s persistent promotion, gaining increasingly widespread adoption through the school system, and later through adult organizations, eventually gaining the blessing of Congress. (Interestingly, during WWII Congress voted to change the hand gesture while saying the pledge from the “Bellamy Salute” to the gesture we now recognize, with hand placed over heart.)

Bellamy had to show some restraint in developing the pledge, as his desires to use language more closely associated with the nationalist and socialist movements would, he feared, meet with resistance. In describing some of his thoughts in creating the pledge, Bellamy stated:

It began as an intensive communing with salient points of our national history, from the Declaration of Independence onwards; with the makings of the Constitution…with the meaning of the Civil War; with the aspiration of the people…

The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the ‘republic for which it stands.’ …And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation – the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches. And its future?

Just here arose the temptation of the historic slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity.’ No, that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all…

What Edward Bellamy wrote about in his socialist utopian novels, his cousin Francis was determined to implement. As was understood by Marx, Dewey, and by all dictators and despots throughout human history, the best way to implement an agenda is to pursue a generational campaign through influencing and/or controlling the education of children to indoctrinate them with a slow, and at first fairly innocuous, stream of ideas.

To be sure, most school-age children do not even understand the implications of the pledge they are habitually repeating, let alone realize the history and meaning behind what they are doing when reciting it. However, the daily process of making such a pledge surely ingrains in the mind of the growing child an attitude and paradigm that solidifies over time and grooms an individual to offer their allegiance to the government as an adult.

So, history aside, why all the fuss? Let’s contrast the pledge of allegiance with the oath of office mandated by the Constitution as noted in Article VI, clause 3:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

That oath reads as follows:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

This oath has substance, and the Constitution to which the individuals’ loyalty is required is the codification of key principles worthy of our absolute support. The oath inherently has meaning, and the allegiance being affirmed by offering such an oath denotes clear responsibilities. (That so few do indeed fulfill their oath of office says more about them and their constituents than it does about the oath or the Constitution itself.)

In stark contrast we see the monotonous and largely superficial pledge of allegiance, with children throughout the country pointing their gaze to a piece of cloth—a symbol that few understand. Ask the average child (or adult, for that matter) what it means to pledge allegiance to the flag, and you’re likely to get responses that demonstrate a complete lack of understanding. Where no understanding exists, correct action cannot follow. Little wonder that the political landscape is what it is today.

If people wish to cast aside the pledge’s history and instead praise the wording and its meaning—pledging allegiance to the flag and to the Republic, affirming that we are one nation, indivisible, and that liberty and justice exist for all—then children should be taught to learn what a Republic is, what principles led us to become one nation, and why liberty and justice are inherent and God-given rights to be secured—and not provided—by government. But these types of teachings do not generally exist in public schools, and so reduced to its core and repeated on a daily basis, the pledge serves its (and Bellamy’s) purpose; children are indoctrinated with a steady dose of subservience to the State and are, over time, taught the importance of fealty to the federal government.

If a pledge is required or insisted upon by parents, then their children should be taught to pledge their allegiance to the Constitution, modeling their pledge after the oath of office the Constitution itself requires of federal officials. In so doing, children would be pointed towards the source of the Republic, and not a diversion. Symbols can be powerful tools for teaching, but they should not demand our attention and allegiance themselves. Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament with his apostles not to suggest that their minds should focus on the bread and water He gave them, but to make clear that these symbols were to be used to encourage the individual to remember His body and sacrifice; we worship Jesus Christ, and not the symbols that represent him. Similarly, we should not pledge our allegiance to the flag—a symbol of this Republic—but to the object it represents, namely, the written Constitution and the principle of liberty it exists to protect.

The idea for Bellamy’s pledge came from the “loyalty oaths” imposed on Southerners after Lincoln’s bloody war between the states. Southerners were forced upon penalty of death to affirm their allegiance to the federal government as a condition for receiving a presidential pardon. This action hardly seems like one we should be inculcating into our children, especially given the abusive, corrupt, and outright tyrannical actions being adopted by many within our federal government in recent decades.

When I am in a meeting where the pledge is being recited, so as not to ruffle too many feathers and immediately have others call into question my patriotism, I simply say a modified version of the Pledge of Allegiance which satisfies my problems with Bellamy’s version:

I pledge allegiance to the flag Constitution of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Where appropriate, I simply abstain from making any such pledge (or wearing any lapel pins or buttons or any other outward, superficial demonstration of one’s patriotism), preferring to let my words and actions speak for themselves in showing to whom and to what my allegiance is given.

The Bellamy cousins had in mind a project to teach American youth loyalty to the government, realizing that the then-predominant strain of individualism and passionate love of liberty inspired by the founding fathers of this country ran afoul of the socialist utopia envisioned in Looking Backward. The fact that hundreds of millions of Americans have embraced the pledge as a token of Americanism and patriotic duty, while ignoring its origins, context, and original intent, and in light of the worship of and trust in government that has permeated our society, indicates that the Bellamys were at least in some significant amount successful.

My children will be taught not to affirm their allegiance to the government, to a symbol such as the flag, or to anything but the underlying and enduring principles that created this nation to begin with. Those principles are enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and our allegiance to these documents (and, more importantly, the principles and ideas themselves) is the correct action that should be taken by every concerned citizen, ardent patriot, and free-thinking individual.

About Connor Boyack

Connor Boyack is president of Libertas Institute in Utah. He is author of several books several books on the topic of liberty and his work has been publicly praised by Ron Paul, Judge Napolitano, Tom Woods, and other national figures.
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68 Responses to Why I Do Not Pledge Allegiance to the Flag

  1. PAJ says:

    Connor,

    Your article is long winded, but correct. To give allegiance to the flag is idolatry. I’ve never liked it. But to give allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the principles upon which it was formed is honorable. Well done.

    Paul

    • Interesting points. The Pledge of Allegiance was the origin of Nazi salutes and Nazi behavior in the USA. It resulted in violence, castrations, even lynchings. The pledge continues to provoke bullying.

      Jehovahs Witnesses were also persecuted for defying American Nazism and its child, German Nazism at the same time. Francis Bellamy, author of the pledge, was an American national socialist and the USA did the nazi salute daily for three decades before German national socialists joined in. See the work of Dr. Rex Curry. Jehovah’s witnesses were persecuted for refusing to give the straight-arm salute to the national flag. That was the national flag of the USA and of Germany.
      http://rexcurry.net/jehovahs-witnesses-fight-socialism-in-USA.html

      Most people today in the USA were educated in socialist schools (government schools) so they are ignorant of the fact that it was happening in the USA (to the stars and stripes) and in Germany (to the swastika flag) at the same time. Here is a related video

  2. G. West says:

    When I was younger, I had a similar opinion. Time and age have made me less militant in this regard. Mostly, I would say that my service in the military moderated that opinion more than anything else.

    The flag symbolizes not just the Republic and the Constitution, but real people who stood up for the Republic and the Constitution. In every case, they put their own lives and futures on hold. Some of them ended up bearing lifelong wounds because of their service. Others laid down their lives. Whether the causes for which they served were always prudent and honorable can be debated, but their personal sacrifices are sacred.

    My father served in Vietnam and lived long enough to retire honorably from the Coast Guard. His country was always something he revered. When he was buried, the honor guard presented my mother with the flag that draped his casket.

    I personally served in the Air Force for eleven years. Although I did not fight in the theater of Desert Storm, I provided intel support for the war effort. I also “fought” the Cold War as a cryptologic linguist. While others practiced making war, my companions and I were engaged every day in doing real-world missions that protected America’s security. When I die, I will be dressed in my temple clothing and there will be a flag over my casket as well. I don’t regard reverence for either of those things to be “idolatry.”

    Two of my sons also serve in the Air Force. One of them is in Iraq right now. God willing, he will return to us in July. He has experienced mortar attacks and sniper fire and other dangers. As a medic, he has been involved in providing emergency care to men and women who have shed their blood as proxies for each of us. He knows the price of freedom.

    Those who have academic or “moral” objections to the Pledge of Allegiance regard freedom and the Republic as intellectual constructs to be debated and critiqued. Those who have qualified themselves to have a flag draped over their mortal remains one day don’t regard the flag or reverence for it as symbols of idolatry.

    A person doesn’t really appreciate something until he has sacrificed for it. This article simply tells me that it’s author has yet to truly sacrifice for the flag and the Republic for which it stands.

  3. acme900 says:

    G. West, have you ever stopped to wonder whether the “sacrifices” you speak of are for legitimate, moral reasons? Or are they for nothing but lies and conquest? Personally, I think the military fights and kills innocent people for lies and conquest. You are doing me a dis-service. Please stop.

  4. PAJ says:

    I totally read you G. West. Whatever Connor’s motives may be, I agree that the flag is just a symbol. It is neither good nor evil, in and of itself. Like going to the temple and seeing that statue of Jesus Christ. We respect the image, but we don’t bow before it. We give our allegiance and our worship to Jesus Christ the man. When I pledge allegiance, it is not really to the flag (a symbol), but to the Constitution and the principles that formed it. Those righteous principles and the American way of life they help create is what I reverence. All my best to you and yours; respect and honor always to you and your valiant sons.

    Paul

  5. G. West says:

    @ Acme900,

    You’ll have to chalk this up to a “generation gap” of sorts. You see, there are some things younger folks don’t appreciate (and can’t appreciate) until they’ve gone through the experience. A person who doesn’t serve a mission for the Church will never know what a mission means to the person who serves it. Even though he may “intellectually” understand every aspect of the mission experience, until one has invested his heart and soul in the cause, he cannot appreciate the sacrifice involved.

    The same is true of service to one’s country. Until you have put yourself out there and served, it’s all just “theory” and conjecture as to what it is like to serve.

    The reason I say this is a “generation gap” thing is because of Connor’s bio on his web site. He describes himself as ” a 20-something web designer, political economist, and budding philanthropist.” If he’s a 20-something, that means that, when he was still in diapers, I was flying the “back end” of reconnaissance planes and deterring Soviet aggression. When he was in kindergarten, I was sending out alert messages to coalition forces advising them of impending SCUD launches.

    There is a certain perspective that comes with time, age, and experience. Connor will get there. I’m sure he’s a fine young man, but his remarks show the telltale traces of immaturity that befits his inexperience with life. I don’t critique him for that. Life will take care of his more advanced “educational” needs–the ones that mom and dad can’t pay for and the ones you don’t get in a classroom.

    Knowing what life has taught me in 50 years, I can only show the greatest of deference and respect for people in their 70s, 80s, and older. They know exponentially more and have a much greater wisdom than we do.

    As far as the “moral” issues of war and peace, untold numbers of latter-day saints have fought in our wars. Elders Boyd K. Packer, L. Tom Perry, and many of our general authorities served in those conflicts. Elder Robert C. Oaks was the Commander of the United States Air Forces in Europe when I served there.

    If those men don’t think that serving was less than “moral,” and if they don’t have any problem with showing their allegiance by their service, I think we’ll be plenty safe by saying the Pledge of Allegiance. It certainly doesn’t qualify as idolatry.

  6. Greg says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with you Conner. My thoughts on the same here.

  7. Connor says:

    Wow. You just pulled the age card.

    If I understand your response correctly, you’re saying that I’m wrong because my naive, immature ramblings are void of any experience that would otherwise better inform me.

    Or, put differently, since I haven’t fought in a war like you have, I don’t really know what patriotism means, what the flag represents, and what the pledge of allegiance is truly about.

    Have I accurately represented your remarks?

    If so, my appeals to logic, morality, and principle will fall on deaf ears since, gosh, I just happen to be in my 20s. I suppose we’ll have to chat sometime in the future once this handicap has been taken from me, and the scales have fallen off of my eyes.

    But I wonder, how do you respond to those who agree with my points, who themselves have spent time in the military, are closer to your age, and have just as much hard-knock-life experience as you?

  8. PAJ says:

    Good grief Connor, your arrogance and lack of humility proves the point G. West was making. If he does not agree with your position on the Flag, that doesn’t justify you in being disrespectful. And having survived my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s, I can speak with authority when I say that you have much to learn; eventually experience will educate you as you pass through the decades. When you get to where I am or G. West is, you will have a very different perspective. West does not worship the flag. For him it is a symbol that represents America, under our Constitutional Republic and our way of life. When he and his sons put their lives on the line, it is not for a piece of red, white, and blue colored cloth. It is for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, including each one of us who enjoys freedom because of the sacrifices they make.

    Paul

  9. G. West says:

    Connor,

    I’m sure you’re a very nice young man with many good qualities. The day will come when you will be a parent and your teenagers will regard you as a total idiot. They won’t value your accomplishments. You’ll just be the old, grouchy guy they have to ask for the car keys. When they get older, they will wonder how you became so smart is just a few years. That’s the way life works. It’s not pulling the age card.

    Life tends to make young men ambitious and, in their attempts to establish themselves and make their mark, they often turn both bellicose and grandiose. Hubris and youth often are companions. Like I said, I once voiced opinions very similar to yours. Life and time moderated those opinions. It’s the very process that makes grandparents less “uptight” than parents are. Perspective makes a big difference. Sacrifice makes even more.

    I have personally spoken with men who were prisoners of war in Viet Nam. They suffered unspeakably for a war that no one recognizes as a just or necessary war. Yet each of them revered the flag of his country more than I can begin to relate. It was the symbol that gave them courage to persevere.

    I’m far from the “America: love it or leave it” wave the flag kind of guy. I support intelligent analysis of the issues. I just think you’ve staked out a position that’s wrong on an issue that will alienate people who wholeheartedly support the cause of freedom. The flag unites Americans, just as the title of liberty rallied believers to Captain Moroni’s cause.

    If you think I’m misguided, I’d ask you to talk to the older men in your ward, and find out their feelings. Listening to them, you might learn that their feelings are very similar to mine. Life is long. Don’t expect to get to the end of it and have all your current assumptions intact. That’s what personal growth and learning by experience is all about.

    • Jon Lewis says:

      I know this article was written a year ago, but I found this and wanted to reply to what you said, “Life and time moderated those opinions.” Not to everyone. My Dad is 80 and used to be a director of the John Burch Society back in the 60′s and 70′s. He still holds those same ideals and is just as vocal.

      Also, what about Ron Paul? It doesn’t look like he’s lost his vigor when it comes to his most radical ideals.

      My point is, you cannot say that everyone your age is going through what you are going through. I just don’t think that age makes a difference in order to understand these issues. Besides, there are some very apathetic young people, and apathetic old people. There are young people that have see hard things in the military, and there are older people that have see hard things in the military.

      Take age out, and now we have are back to arguing about the subject at hand as… just people.

      I’m 32 by the way. And I served in the military right after 911 for 4 years. I happen to believe in principles and sticking to those principles no matter how much “life and time” try to moderate me.

      • Great point Jon. I personally am not a fan of asking opinions of a generation of people who gave us all these social welfare programs and with their vote and voice trampled all over the Constitution. There was more working against that generation because they less able to get information from non-official sources. I have less sympathy for members of the church, however, that really don’t have an excuse. Besides all the direct statements by prophets, they were specifically given books they should read in General Conference that contradicted what a majority of the members supported.

        • Karen says:

          Thank you, Jon and Micah. I appreciate your measured, thoughtful responses. I am 45, and I have learned more about our country in the past 4 years than in all the previous 41. While I have a lot of patience with those who grew up with no internet and hardly any real sources of correct information, I am getting very frustrated by the apathy–or worse, derision–shown by those who refuse to look at information that is literally at their fingertips. President Benson recommended None Dare Call It Conspiracy and praised the John Birch Society. Benson, J. Reuben Clark, and Heber J. Grant often condemned our eagerness for war and counseled us to stay out of the United Nations. Their words–and so much more–are readily available NOW for those willing to “reason together.” Anyway, thanks for reminding me that I’m not as alone as Mormon and Moroni were. Sometimes it feels that way!

  10. Clumpy says:

    Frankly, I think that the Flag can be a good symbol or an object of mindless devotion. If we are really devoted to “liberty and justice for all,” or an environment of freedom and a true republic which respects the rights of the individual or minority as much as the majority, then seeing the Flag as a symbol of those virtues is entirely appropriate. After all, standing and saluting habeas corpus would be incredibly strange.

    However, using the flag as a symbol of mindless nationalism, supporting immoral military actions and deifying the soldiers who participate in them rather than seeing them as victims or tools of the machinations of others is flat-out wrong. The Flag can be the symbol of everything our Nation ought to do right, or the balm for the wound of destructive and unnecessary war, unearned praise for politicians willing to manipulate unthinking patriotism for personal gain, or justify the deaths of those they led to the slaughter to serve their various interests.

    Finally, age may come with wisdom, or it may not. While some may have strong emotional feelings toward our nation’s flag (or our nation itself), built over decades, emotion is only as good as the actions it inspires, and “experience” only as good as the quality of the experience. What age gives in my experience is moral authority – those who have stuck to good principles for decades and decades have earned my trust and respect more fully than anybody my age can, and have an ennobling influence to them that draws me in and makes me want to be like them. I don’t have any authority to speak for anybody else, but I think people of any age are just as prone to selfishness and ignorance, wisdom or kindness in pretty equal ratios, and those who have 70 or 80 years of positive living under their belts are pretty much a living testament to everything a human being ought to be.

  11. Carl F Uhl says:

    What some of you are calling experience, I call being institutionalized. Which gives credence to Connor’s article because you are the perfect end results of what the authors of the pledge intended.
    Regarding the comment made by PAJ that “each one of us who enjoys freedom because of the sacrifices they make.” The government is the biggest threat to our freedoms. The military is not doing a very good job protecting me from them.
    In recent memory I can’t recall any foreign entity that was capable of taking away my freedoms notwithstanding the propaganda spouted by the government to lure those of the ‘experienced’ generation to fight its wars. The most powerful military in the world cannot subdue the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan. Who is really powerful enough to subjugate the United States? “The military defends our freedoms” is another one of those institutionalized slogans. The Bellamy’s would be proud.

  12. Doug Walters says:

    G. West,

    I am also a young ‘un – 25, to be exact – and I’ve been told those very same things about age tempering ambition and the like.

    I would never argue that my views and opinions won’t vary as experience and time shape my person. But I would argue that principles – true, correct principles – are eternal and will never change. And when an argument is based on principles, that argument remains valid regardless of the age of the person making the argument or the amount of life experience they have amassed.

    I find that Connor’s argument in this article is a principled one – that the pledge of allegiance was set up with the specific intention of encouraging children to worship the State and revere centralized authority, all central to Satan’s plan to destroy the agency of man, and that we should not idolize flags or other symbols of the state but instead befriend “that law of the land which is constitutional”. Anything more or less “cometh of evil”, according to the Lord.

    • I think the biggest difference between Connor and Greg is not age, but each’s perspective on the flag and the “republic, for which it stands”. Connor’s generation has yet to see it raised as a symbol of freedom, but instead as a symbol of the tyranny imposed on us by an ever growing central government and it’s foreign entanglements. The flag is a symbol of something very different to principled liberty-lovers today than it is to principled liberty-lovers of yesterday. And as has been noted, this was precisely Bellamy’s intent.

      Personally, I’ve come to loath “nationalism” in all it’s varieties. I believe nationalism blinds us to the aggressive foundation and Socialistic potential of the state.

    • Karen says:

      Well said!

  13. acme900 says:

    G. West,

    Wow, I never knew that “experience that comes with age” is enough to justify the act of murdering innocent people for the state, in the name of war. Thanks for clearing that up.

    As for citing general authorities who served in the military… unless they did so while acting in an official capacity for the church under direct revelation, this justification for murder is, again, severely misguided.

  14. PAJ says:

    You know, there is a reason why the office of President is limited to natural born citizens 35 years or older. It is because the founders recognized that maturity and experience are very important in such a highly-visible position. I imagine they did not put sucn a limitation on Congress because they figured that there would be enough older representatives on hand to manage the younger Gladiators coming into office, each waving the sword of Laban and singing “God of our Fathers.” But I suspect that if they could see the fruits of this generation, they would increase the age limits about 20 years or so.

    Paul

  15. G. West says:

    In Alma 51, we read of an opposition movement that opposed Captain Moroni and the “title of liberty.” The movement consisted of those who considered themselves “elite” and of noble birth. Moroni dealt with them forcefully, knowing that this kind of dissent was destructive to the war effort.

    “17 And it came to pass that Moroni commanded that his army should go against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty.
    18 And it came to pass that the armies did march forth against them; and they did pull down their pride and their nobility, insomuch that as they did lift their weapons of war to fight against the men of Moroni they were hewn down and leveled to the earth.
    19 And it came to pass that there were four thousand of those dissenters who were hewn down by the sword; and those of their leaders who were not slain in battle were taken and cast into prison, for there was no time for their trials at this period.
    20 And the remainder of those dissenters, rather than be smitten down to the earth by the sword, yielded to the standard of liberty, and were compelled to hoist the title of liberty upon their towers, and in their cities, and to take up arms in defence of their country.”

    We find that these dissenters, who were too good to submit to the title of liberty were executed. Those who recanted were “compelled to hoist the title of liberty” on their towers.

    The flag is our title of liberty. We “hoist” it on our towers and we pledge allegiance to that which it represents. A person who won’t salute the symbol of his country cannot be counted upon to defend it or sacrifice for it. Moroni knew that.

    I appreciate the sentiments of the younger set. I hope the day will come when the flag will mean to you what it does to us older folks. When one has enjoyed a comfortable, affluent existence that has been paid for by the blood of patriots, the “bill” for “services rendered” will eventually comes due.

    I don’t wish it on any of you, but most certainly the time will come when you young folks will have to put on a uniform and defend America again. The day will come (and is probably soon approaching) that a volunteer military will be outgunned and outmanned. Conscription will occur. Enlistments will be “for the duration.”

    When the flag represents the blood of your generation, I suspect the mindset will change.

  16. Sidemeat says:

    Well stated PAJ, my sentiments exactly. And before I forget… Acme900 – You are an ass hat!

  17. Clumpy says:

    I would just like to register my opinion that this entire conversation (on both sides) has grown pretty silly and self-centered.

    • Karen says:

      Amen. It’s easier to call names than to consider that one might be mistaken. If anyone wants to look up facts instead of throw insults, please look up Operation Northwoods (our nation’s plans for a false-flag attack on our own country in order to drum up support for a war against Cuba); read None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen, The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin, or Inside the United Nations by Steve Bonta; read “Our Immediate Responsibility,” “The American Heritage of Freedom,” or “Not Commanded in All Things,” by President Benson. Much of this is not good news, but the world sure makes a lot more sense now.

  18. acme900 says:

    You need to be a lot more careful when attempting to use scripture to justify war. First of all, unless I am mistaken, none of America’s wars are divinely sanctioned by revelation or officially supported by the Church. Second, you certainly can’t say that any of them are actually in self defense. Media propaganda notwithstanding.

    So I can understand why someone might think the flag represents a title of liberty of sorts. But in my opinion, the American state is rife with tyranny and corruption. I certainly wouldn’t say the federal government is worth defending with the blood of innocent people. That is just my uneducated opinion though.

  19. Aaron Parks says:

    G West,

    The American flag is our Title of Liberty? Hardly. Such thinking is dangerous and encourages the anti-Christian sentiment of nationalism within the Church.

    John Taylor taught:

    “God has established his kingdom; he has rolled back that cloud that has overspread the moral horizon of the world; he has opened the heavens revealed the fulness of the Everlasting Gospel, organized his kingdom according to the pattern that exists in the heavens; and he has placed certain keys, powers, and oracles in our midst; and we are the people of God; we are his government. The Priesthood upon the earth is the legitimate government of God, whether in the heavens or on the earth.”

    The United States’ government is not, by any means, the legitimate government of God. Nor is the flag our Title of Liberty. My loyalties are to Jesus Christ and the government that he created. Not to a false Title of Liberty that represents tyranny as often as not. My Title of Liberty will be the doctrines of the gospel as given through the testimonies of the prophets and apostles as witnesses of Christ.

    We “hoist” pictures of the temples in our homes, as well as other symbols of eternity as our reminders of liberty and eternal freedom. The American flag is a secular symbol, not a divine one. It may be one that should garner a certain amount of respect, but it is not one that should be divinely revered as symbol of God.

  20. PAJ says:

    Aaron,

    The Mountain Meadows massacre (9/11/1857) is a good example of how people can resort to extreme wickedness, even though they are endowed with Priesthood responsibility. In the D&C 121:39, speaking in behalf of the Gods, the Lord said, “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” The Priesthood is only as good as the men who represent it. And if the Lord is correct about the nature and disposition of all men, and I highly suspect He is, the LDS Priesthood holders are no better than anybody else when it comes to legitimate government. Anyway, LDS temples and other things are symbols of eternal principles just as the Flag is a symbol of Constitutional principles. As long as one understands what he is pledging allegiance to, there is no problem.

    Paul

  21. Pepper says:

    G West—-I could not agree with you more. I love the Flag, I love everything to which it stands for me…..I have always felt a deep sense of reverence for the Symbol of our Liberty.

    My family also has served in the Military and when they have passed and will pass, that Flag represent stheir sacrifices for me, even if the Government to which they fought under has been corrupted. I will never feel like it is rote thing or an idol worshiping thing…for me it is just one of the symbols for everything that I hold dear and I will always, stand when it comes by, I will always cover my heart with my right hand and pledge my allegiance to that Flag that represents Liberty and the Republic for which IT stands…. No, sir there is no one who will ever have a good enough argument for me to do otherwise.

  22. Rex says:

    Hey, I served, as have all three of my children, and we have all come to Connor’s conclusion. Our government has too many times unjustly sent its troops into other countries to meddle in their affairs. The last time American troops actually defended America was the War of 1812. Every other war, in my opinion, has been a war of expansion, either of territory or power and influence, even WWII, when we provoked the Japanese to attack us.

    Yes, I believe in the Constitution, but our government has long ceased to resemble its constitutional image. So, to the extent that the government does not abide by the Consitution is the extent to which I disagree with it and am loathe to support it.

    It always gives me pause when I think that an avowed socialist wrote the original pledge, the purpose of which was to regiment the minds of the children and make them more maleable in the service of the state.

    Regarding the idea that the American flag is like the Title of Liberty, I don’t think the Nephites ever attacked anyone under the Title of Liberty that had not attacked them first. In fact, at one point later on, the prophet told the Nephites that should they venture into the mountains to pre-emptively strike the Gadianton Robbers, they would suffer terribly. Ours is a Gentile nation, and it will suffer the fate outlined in the Book of Mormon for the Gentile nations, if it does not repent, and as a whole, we are far from repenting.

  23. Pepper says:

    I recommend reading this article by Vaughn J Featherstone

    http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=50a661cb2b86b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

    The Flag does not stand for usurpation, oppression and tyranny…it truly stands for liberty. Should we not restore those values into our youth, into the hearts and minds of the people? As we, those you treasure liberty, talks and show reverence to the Constitution, the Flag and the Anthem that represents those things, there will be an increase of love of Country in the traditional sense. To me, it has been socialistic supporters and ideology that has destroyed this country. I go to any public meeting and where is the allegiance…no where to be found…so, if that Pledge was so sinister in its meaning, please tell me why it is not reinforced today and why does our President refuse to pledge to the same?

  24. Connor is disturbed by the “Pledge of Allegiance” because he believes the intention of the author (Francis Bellamy) was to change the very symbolism of the flag–to rob it of its deep meaning by forcing people to state repeatedly that the flag stands for the REPUBLIC (government). He also sees this as an attempt by Bellamy to shift people’s allegiance away from the constitution and the principles thereof.
    .
    Connor has personally fought this attempted indoctrination–by instead pledging his allegiance to the CONSTITUTION. I applaud his patriotic zeal and love for his country and the principles on it was founded.
    .
    However, I also caution him (and others) that the flag is not MERELY a symbol–the principles it stands for are holy, and those principles hallow it. The flag is as much inspired as the constitution or the declaration of independence, and should be treated with due respect. So long as it retains its meaning, It is as holy as our scriptures, chapels, and ordinances are holy.
    .
    Sadly, we also need to be wary of wolves who wrap themselves in the flag–who the reverence it inspires to do evil. God’s own words have from time to time been twisted in such fashion to do the devil’s work–and the flag is no different. It is not idolatry to pledge allegiance to the flag so long as we always remember what it truly stands for.

  25. Connor says:

    Walter (and others),

    I do not disrespect the flag, and I understand its symbolism. But as I argue in the article, I do not worship or otherwise avow my allegiance to a symbol. Symbols point my attention to the core object they represent, and that is where my allegiance lies (if offered).

    I question, however, comparing a man-made symbol (the flag) to symbols instituted by God.

  26. PAJ says:

    I’ve seen a photo of Pamela Anderson wrapped in a US Flag. I have to tell you, I gained a whole new level of respect for the flag after seeing that.

    :-)

    Paul

  27. robert says:

    Connor, with all due respect, I see little to no value in your piece. I see little to no substance in your piece. However I do see arrogance. I feel the spirit of Korihor, not necessarily in your piece, but in your responses against a simple man of honor, that affords you respect with his opinions, which you do not give back in kind. We are supposed to hail you and your followers as divinely elite. You wrote this piece for the controversy, not to add any intrinsic value to the world. You wrote it to show you have been blessed with a logical mind and to show that you, are not going to be deceived by the sophistries of Bellamy that us mere mortals have been deceived. You are not a Uniter of men as Moroni and King Benjamin, but a divider. You are not a leader, but a mere agitator. Is the world a better place because of your article, or is it just more divided?

    Moroni 7:13 13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

    If, in your intellectual research into the obscure origins of the pledge, you believe you have come to be more enlightened then us single cell organisms, and the flag is a representation to you of pledging allegiance to socialism, then feel free to ride your meaningless pony as far as you would like. the fact that you would expend your energy on such a worthless pursuit shows your true naivete.

    But, if the flag and its pledge, for a man who has been through his own personal Gethsemane, is inspired by the words, and it produces a desire in him to do good, to fight for the constitution, to read the founding fathers, to persuade his fellow men that that flag stands for the republic inspired by God, then it is of God. It simply needs to entice to do good and invite to do good and it is of God. It passes this test for me. I bleed the constitution, and I grew up saying the pledge every day, and I miss it.

    You see CO2 can be labeled a poison, or a sustain-er of all life on this planet. There is the old story of two men driving down the road and they see a billboard of a girl in a lacy bra and panties. The one remarks, “i can’t believe they put that crap up in public, it’s disgraceful.” The other man, having his attention drawn to the billboard, says sincerely, “i just see a beautiful daughter of God.” The pervert sees the bad. The spiritual man sees the good. The sinful saw an adulterous woman caught in the act, a whore, a tramp. The savior saw a beautiful daughter of god and said go thy way…

    If the flag and it’s pledge is a symbol of freedom to me, of a republic established by God, and a reminder that this nation was established under God, then who are you to try to change something that enticeth me to be good. If reciting the pledge inspires me and others to honor a grandfather who fought against tyranny, then who are you to pervert that image. If the flag and it’s pledge bring the spirit of freedom and enticeth me to read my founding fathers, and stand up in every public and private occasion for Freedom and the constitution, who are you to pervert that for me.

    What if Satan was the author, how better to make him rant and stomp and scream like a little boy as he does in Moses, than to take a symbol he authored and turn it for good. Beat him at his own game. I do not see him as the author, but it is wonderful 4th generation warfare against satan if you believe he authored it.

    My advice, find subjects that unite and inspire. DO something beyond stroking your own intellectual ego. Make the world a better place. See the good in things. Don’t be the pervert that sees the crap, be the inspired man that sees a daughter of God.

    Semper Fidelis

  28. PAJ says:

    Ever since I saw the picture of the children in this thread, I’ve been wondering why they seem to be giving a Nazi salute to the flag rather than putting their right hand over their heart. Am I off base here or does this picture not look right?

    Paul

  29. PAJ says:

    Gack. Sigh… It’s amazing how much influence one little well-placed communist can have over people. Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. Alger Hiss is yet another example, nad he had the ear of the President.

    Paul

  30. Brandon says:

    I would just like to point out that as a 35-yr-old father of 5 kids, I too served in the Air Force as a airborne cryptologic linguist, like G. West. I don’t know if those characteristics qualify me to have a mature opinion on this subject, but here goes:

    I think the purpose of Connor’s article here, contrary to what Robert believes, is to challenge the beliefs that so many of us grew up with, being indoctrinated with pseudo-history in government run schools. Most of us simply accept that version of history as absolutely true, despite its being a truly comic book version of “things as they really were.”

    The most dangerous thing about the pledge of allegiance, something our Founders did not seem to think we needed or should have for the first 100+ years of our history, is that it promotes nationalism, and more generally, statism, i.e. the near-worship of the state. We are all taught that the state, i.e. institutionalized violence, is the proper means of dealing with almost any societal problem, and this view is the defining one of the statist, whether he labels himself “conservative” or “liberal.” Our country was founded on the principles of individual liberty and natural rights, given us by our Creator. Pledging our allegiance to a state is anathema to that, IMHO.

    Having stated my military bona fides, I would just like to politely point out that I don’t believe that our military has truly been used to “defend our liberties” since 1812. I have come to that view after my own service, including in Iraq, and much study of the history of our armed conflicts. But those who have fought, or who have family that has fought, seem to have a visceral need to cling to the fantasy that they or their loved one(s) did not fight/die in vain. I do not doubt the nobility of many an American warrior, but the “causes” were almost never so noble.

    I know Connor, and had this conversation with him at a political event just before the pledge was recited. He told me his modified version, and I have been using it ever since.

    Robert, this type of article is perhaps not intended to unite people, per se. It is intended, IMHO, to make people THINK! And I think it is serving its purpose. Thanks Connor.

  31. PAJ says:

    “I would just like to point out that as a 35-yr-old father of 5 kids, I too served in the Air Force as a airborne cryptologic linguist, like G. West.” — Brandon

    My goodness Brandon, what have you done to that poor wife of yours. With five kids, you guys qualify for the elevated status of Tribal Leader. LOL!

    I have to say, how wonderful it would have been if the pledge of Allegiance had used the word “Constitution” rather than “flag.” What a huge difference that would have made. If it were possible, it would be interesting to go back in time, make the change, and then return to witness the results. Marvelous!

    Paul

  32. Paumea Horton McKay says:

    kia Ora from this descendant of Lehi (Angiangi te tu) in our Native NZ Maori) I think you Americans take too many liberties on what good men (founding fathers) did and in my opnion you have not been as vigilant as you may have been and now you find yourselves at sixes and sevens about what is happening today! I am a 70 year old veteran too! I didn’t jin the army to kill my brother! (although I knew that was possible and I learned the techniques to protect myself even if it meant killing my brother! As I attend Veterans Parade waving our flage and hear the Patriotic Speeches regarding my comrades that didn’t come home! Made mostly by politicians who have failed to live up to their oath of Office So Help Me God to uphold the Law of The Land (That is the Common Law) Like most natives of many countries subjugated by White Anglo Saxon Protestants we “natives joined the army for educaional opportunities and economic reasons because unlike civy civvy street where the political privileges were maintained against us (2010 still is) In that occupation we were second to none! We didn’t go away for King and Country! The King (Queen by my time) was the same despotic monarchy that the founding fathers of America defeated purely with God’s help! Their was a lot of Anglo-Americans that had to be tongue bashed by the fiery eloquence of a “Patrick Henry” ! When the 28th Maori Battalion went to fight in the second world war it was a matter of economics! The White man who confiscated our lands refused to finance (via loans) Maori Farmers! Maori Battallion (in that respect) was the same as the Mormon Battallion! Like the Mormon Battallion we wanted to fight alongside our Native Born White (Pakeha) brothers because we wanted to testify with our blood if necessary that we had an equal status in this my native country which these gentile immigrants denied us! We Moari had a different outlook (it seems) with “soldiers” on the “other side” who were also doing their patriotic duty and subject to their Political masters too! Six Maori from that battallion were recommended for the Victoria Cross (Highest Medal of Honor in the British Commonwealth of Nations! Rumoured refusal by the uppity British was! We cant have that many medals going to the wog niggers) If we Maori were in charge of the money! Immediately after the ceasefire and normal relations re-established it is our culture to go back amongst our former enemies to seek forgivness and reconciliation! Thias was finally acceded to about 20 years ago when New Zealanders went back to Galipol to visit with the grand children of our former enemies to seek spiritual cleansing! We have a ritual when going to war! We get on our knees and crawl through through the legs of an old woman who stands astride each man so crawling! Upon our return we crawl back into civvy life! This depicts that all men (our enemies) have entered life through the woman!i There is a statement made by Attaturk which is in the spiritual vain that is totally understood by we Maori! Ataturk: “Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives, you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears, your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they become our sons as well.” Thats pure middle eastern non gentile Maori language! Ho Chi Min fought French Imperialism! He wanted to set up the first Democratic Republic in South East Asia! He reasoned Why Re-Invent the wheel! Learn the lessons of history! History told him that a rag tag army of Anglo-Americans Out Gunned Out Manned Totally Ill equiped took on the mightiest Military force in the whole world and won! He knew God had played a part that on all accounts the Americans should have lost! He wrote away to congress pleading with them tosend him a copy of their Constitution but the “American” enemies of that Constitution refused! He was forced (that was designed by the Enemies of the Constitution) to seek help elswhere which drove him for sheer survival into the Kommunists Camp! They had beaten France (The Canadians; British and American Backers) in the outright 1954 slaughter in the battle of Dien Ben Fu! These people were fighting (White Protestants) who had invaded their land in the early 1800! A young General (Giap) with a rag tag army Out gunned outmanned ill equipped ill trained took on the combined Plutarchy (Politics Finance and Military) of the French Americans and the British combined and won! Then the Americans who were not party to the actual Treaty manipulated a 17th Parallel division and devided that country! Then America arranged for a Vietnames living in America to become President of South Vietnam! It was that President that invited America to send troops to protect him against Ho Chi Min’s Northern hordes! Ho Chi Min accepted the UN proposaL to devide his country for two years after which Elections would be held because he knew that he would win the elections hands down with a vast popular majority! The IMP perial powers of Britain France Canada (Others too) didn’t want that to happened and they engineered The Vietname war of my era (The Americans invented the Vietcong) An Older General Giap took the western powers down again!
    The North Vietnamese had great respect for my unit and NZ units in general! They feared (or rather in true soldiers parlance) they had great respect for we Maori soldiers! As I listen to the replys given here i can’t help but warn my fellow American LDS members that I find you Americans so Ignorant about your own history and you havent the fantist clue about world history! All of you are quite disbeileivingly shocked and agered when I tell you that your Federal Reserve Bank is a Private Corporation and it’s Private Collector of Interest is it’d Privately owned IRD! (I wonder why my blood ancestores wrote in the Book Of Mormon! (a) There were many “Merchants in the land (did they mean Private (Guilds) Corporations operating under Law Merchant which is buying and selling and not under the Jurisdiction of Common Law??) (b)There were many lawyers in the land (3) There were corrupt Judges working hand in glove with lawyers! Did not my blood ancestors warn you gentiles that these same secret combinations were led by Satan and now you are all ignorantly slaves of the Private Corporations headed by The Private Corporation of The Federal Government! Sadly when Im here you Americans reporting on or quoting speeches made by LDS General Authorities I cant help but recall I think Rudyard Kipling’s couplet! Oh to see the truths you have espoused twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools! Too many of you LDS Americans have been leaving it up to our “General Authorities” to speak out! They are just men! Don’t let my statement allow you to point the accusing finger of apostacy and not sustaining our church leaders! Jesus only is my unquestioned leader! I know without a shadow of a doubt that he and he alone is without error! The greatest tool that Satan has is to have us believe that we should follow our Church Leaders! He’s 100 percent correct only when he uses the correct word! Leader No S No plural Leaders! We have to choose every time to do what we did in the pre-existence! Chose Christ! Shun Satan! Choose Christ above all “others” including our limited learned leader S! Thats how Joseph Smith was led to do what he did! He quite rightly took counsel from men of his day which showed an equal amount of differing opinions on variuos matters as is shown amongs our LDS General Authorities! He did a James 1 and 5! Moroni 10:4 D&c 9:11 Everything I said about Ho Chi Min Gen Giap is recorded history! My application of the information may be flawed! That’s why you too have to do a james 1:5 Mor 10:4 D&C 9:11! (I have done that! before I get to write it here! I hop like my blood ancestores from the Book of Mormon I may have shaken you into an awareness of the awful situation that has happened to America! While you slept the enemy (satan) planted the look alike tares amongst the noble words of OUR constitution (Yes OUR) It was prepared tpo protect all of my creatures (creations or children! So wake up! Stop deviding your efforts by having polite and not so polite conversations Q and As amongst yourselves! Wake up to the awful doom that of the shredding of that precious document!! In New Zealand here the Fredom movement is mostly activated by we Maori and Mormon Maori are the leading lights in the movement! Much to the chagrine of our blind uneducated p/hood leaders (all is well in zion) They too like you Americans think we are mad when we report that our Government; Courts and Police are now Private Corporations executing the statutes of Private International Corporations! My real fear is the ignorance of people within this church! We have been warned from Isaiah to the Book of Mormon that these things are going to take place and we attack the messenger because we dont have the intestinal fortitude (Guts) to admit that we were asleep upon the “watch Towers” we were too bizzy “making money” to selfish and greedy looking after numberone ME ME ME! Thats how the united order was defeated during Joseph Smiths time and later Brigham Youngs time and our local leaders are to robot like; looking to the prophet to “order” it to happen at our level! It is cultural practice of the Natural Believing Blood of Israel which was beaten out of us by the controlgentiles! While my words may be taken as bad mouthing I repent! No no no! The majority Gentiles have now forsaken our God and they being in Power and Authority both in Church and Secular government are to be held responsible! Our duty is to uphold the Arms that a weak and the knees that tremble! God refused to allow Moses to Enter the Promised Land because he did something “his Way! So upholding the arms and trembling knees is in my view to do all I can such as 2years supply; family prayer pay tithes and offerings visit the sick serve my neigbours! And pray that (a) God gives us “understanding” when his prophet speaks words that are difficult for me to accept! Such as Gordon B Hinkleys talk on War in Iraq (Weapons of mass destruction) I was answered that wher The Western Armies go The P/hood goes too! This is not necessarily God’s okay re it being a Just Wae (It aint) But can we as temple saints soldiers reflect beliefs after the Firefight! God knows that during the firefight it’s just bloody lower animal instinct! My opponent is just as justified as I am in the field! We are both under contract and sworn duty! Our Political Masters that got us there will be held accountable! The Naplam in Vietname barbaqued thousands of civillians! Wives and children loved and missed just as dearly as our wives and children! The difference is that we invaded their country while our wives and children were safe from the physical immotional spiritual hoorors of war! Such horrors made itself manifest 30 40 50 years later when a Vietnam vet wakes up screaming and butchers his own loved ones or some other out of human sync attrocity! The closer one is to the killing! Infantry special forces The more spiritually maimed you become! Thats why we Maori practise that crawling between a womans legs it represents new birth and innocents! It’s a spiritual ritual that can have profound effect! Lastly! 911! My Special Forces Training told me that those buildings were bought down by careful engineering usin explosives! Several monthes ago a Team of Americans !From The American Society of Engineers toured NZ with a “Power Point Program” supporting that very concept! I believe a Mormon (BYU) and later a utheran (University) Proffessor were leading lights promoting that idea! (I believe the Mormon was “suspended” and later rerired! MMMM After about 120 minutes of presentation I responded thusly! I too believe the buildings were brought down by explosives and the why of it was to get Americans so riled upm that the Administration could sell them on FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Act! Creat a Crisis (like the engineered bombing of Pearl harbour) Rile the people Offer your solution (Bring in the Calvary and it doesn’t matter if it butchers Men women and children just kick ass (excuse the language) My closing remarkes were to the effect that! The opposing engineers can also put up a convincing counter argument because we the people are not really trained re all that technical stuff and we rely on the sincerity of the delivery! One can be convinced either way! I believe that Their final statement should be blazoned in full color and sound! We declare that all men were created equal and endowed by their creator God with certain unalienable rights…! Also! All power and authority of the Government originates with We The People! Then every Ameircan (Mormon) stand up and be counted! Tell your subject servant Government that you no longer allow them to do things against your brothers and sisters in your names! Thats what they are doing! I don’t care a ras tale for all those words about loyalty or pariotism! I care only that my subject sevant government is to cease killing my brothers and sisters in my name! I refuse to authorise them to leave my country open to internal bullyboys while they use our natural resources WITH MY CONSENT to kill my brother! I authorise and
    gove my consent! Nay I as Sovereign order my Subject Servant Government to take our overfilled granaries and distribut it to my brothers in need! To load up our flying fortresses and bombard that country with clean water engineers medical supplies; et al! Stop your gentile nonsence when you say oh we cant give them domething for nothing! You stole the Real Waelth from Amerindians! God allows the sun and the rain to fall upon the wicked and the righteous equally and free to boot! Our governments are our subject servant stewards! Americas economic abundance was for a time created by forced free labour and todsay the massess are still slaves to the Merchants of Venice who demand their pound of flesh and we are free to be debt tax slaves! Wake up to your awful situation o America and specially you temple ovenanted Gentiles! Forgwt thwe various colored perceptins of each other re patriotism because those things are genuinley tru in that personal context! But each of us have to make a choice! Do we recognise how far Satan has crept into our respective governments! If you don’t then all our blogs are not worth the words expended to express them! Forever learning but never coming to an understanding of the truth! which is a knowledge of things past present and future! I leave off writing! praying that a kind God will help you see in my words the wheat from the chaff! Take the chaff and feed the horse to pull the plow to plant more wheat! Take whatever wheat thats you find herein and convert it into the Brad of Life! God bless Paumea MxcKay Kia Ora from a descendant of Lehi

  33. MARCIA says:

    Acme because of G. West service you can write your rubbish. G. West God bless you and thank you for your service to this country.

  34. Carl Uhl says:

    Marcia. I hear this comment all the time. But no one can ever tell me legitimately what a ‘servicemen’ has protected me from? Who was such a threat to this country that my freedom to write or speak my mind was ever in danger. I can site many instances where the government has threatened those rights, but in none of those instances has a ‘service member’ done anything to protect me from those incursions. Do you say such things out of the indoctrination you have received thus giving creedence to Bellamy’s intent?

  35. PAJ says:

    Paumea MxcKay, why do you believe that you are a descendant of Lehi, who migrated with his family from Israel beginning in the first book of Nephi in the Book of Mormon? Except for possibly the Algonquin and associated tribes of north eastern USA and up into Canada, virtually all Native Americans migrated from Asia. Just curious.

    Paul

  36. PAJ says:

    “Marcia. I hear this comment all the time. But no one can ever tell me legitimately what a ’servicemen’ has protected me from? Who was such a threat to this country that my freedom to write or speak my mind was ever in danger.” — Carl

    The military has involved itself in many conflicts, police actions, and wars that it had no business in. There is no doubt about that. And they’re doing it today. Gack! But they have directly and indirectly protected us from the enemy, of which there are many. For example, WWII was an ugly war. I don’t like the way we got involved in WWII, but had we not become involved, it is very possible that we’d be speaking German, not English. Were it not for the potential of military action against Russia, Kruschev would have never moved their nuclear missiles from Cuba. Who knows where that would have ended? And just think of the numerous covert secret operations that we know nothing about that has thwarted foreign aggression or attacks. Because of our military and our ability to defend ourselves, we have not yet suffered Red Dawn. But the time is coming when we will. Hummm. I wasn’t going to say this, but now I think I will. Had our political leaders righteously defended and upheld the constitution with mighty zeal, had they defended the borders of this nation with mighty zeal, had they jealously regulated immigration and naturalization with the same zeal, we would be the greatest and most powerful nation on the earth. And nobody, and I mean nobody, would dare to stand against us. They simply couldn’t. But today, we are a broken nation run by the laws of greed, lust, and wickedness. Like a body heavily infected with cancer (social breakdown of society), it is only a matter of time before we are effectively pronounced dead. And then, we’ll have our Red Dawn, and life as we know it will come to an end.

    Paul

  37. The state is our primary enemy. The state creates conflict with it’s interventions both at home and abroad. The state threatens my freedom and society’s freedom far greater than any foreign entity.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/nock1.html

    The American flag represents different things to different people, but to me it represents the American state with all it’s failures. I won’t pledge allegiance to that.

  38. PAJ says:

    “The state is our primary enemy.” — Skyler

    Yeah, that’s probably true. But the Federal government, in the long run, may turn out to be the real monster.

    “The state creates conflict with its interventions both at home and abroad.” — Skyler

    Well, certainly at home. But I’m not sure about abroad.

    “The state threatens my freedom and society’s freedom far greater than any foreign entity.” — Skyler

    Yeah, that’s for sure. America’s demise is coming from internal corruption, just as it did for Rome.

    “The American flag represents different things to different people, but to me it represents the American state with all its failures. I won’t pledge allegiance to that.” — Skyler

    I don’t see it that way. The Flag is a beacon of hope for those who see the USA as a land of liberty; a badge of honor for those who have sacrificed to preserve the American way of life; and a symbol of tyranny for those who can see the despotic police state that it has become. Sadly, the Flag represents all of these things and more. We are a nation in turmoil and on the brink of collapse. As the old saying goes, a house divided against itself cannot stand. And we have many divisions.

    Paul

  39. Casey Bowen says:

    maior visum

    Let us not be so concerned with the minutia of the symbolism and the precise wording of Pledge of Allegience that we miss the bigger picture. I would hate for this noble website to become the bragging grounds of the modern day Pharisees and Sadducees. I find this entire dialogue and subject to be divisive and ill conceived.
    Connor, I understand your point that our allegiance is to God and to defend the constitution and not confuse loyalty to the state for loyalty to the constitution. I think most of us on here get that. I would love to have the citizen’s of this great land giving the oath of office, Minus the office part, in lou of the pledge of allegience only.

    I question your reasoning for choosing this topic. I don’t see this as refining and edifying but almost braggadocious and anti patriotic. You will win few friends with these tactics and in fact, more importantly so, you dangerously caste us with an unpatriotic color. Even to the point of arguing with one of our veterans who defended our country in a very unpopular war.
    Perhaps that is your point, but considering the tremendously steep uphill climb we Latter-day Saints have with misconceptions and outright lies about our beliefs and our people, we don’t need topics like this, (which are very easily misinterpreted) working against us in the mass media. I hope that you will reflect a little more deeply on winning hearts and minds and reach for the low hanging fruit instead of the shiny apple in the heights of the tree. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover before this topic becomes an issue.
    Consider how easily maligned LDS are during prop 8 and 2008 election coverage among. You could very easily turn the majority of americans against us with the title alone.
    I Appreciate all the hard work you’ve done with Mike Lee’s campaign, and I hold a tremendous amount of respect for your conviction and determination, you definitely put your shoulder to the wheel. Let’s work on more basic arithmatic and leave the calculus alone for now.
    PS I hope to go shooting with you soon and you better not unfriend me on Facebook.

  40. Ken Mazzanti says:

    Captain Moroni waved the “Title of Liberty” with the inscription quoted at the top of this very page. The Flag of the United States of America is a symbol that represents this Nation and the principles for which it stands-God given freedom and liberty. This Nation – God’s promised land- has done more to promote liberty and freedom than any other nation in this earths history. We ask nothing in return but some land to bury our dead, and in some instances, places from which we can defend the free nations from despots and tyrants. Anyone who sees pledging allegiance to the flag as an act of idolatry needs to re=evaluate their perspective of the Title of Liberty. “As a man thinketh; so is he”. Please note that I am not afraid to put my name to this letter rather than hiding behind a pseudonym.
    Ken Mazzanti

  41. Unfortunately our flag has become a symbol of tyranny around the globe, only we American’s seem to be the last to know it. We think we go trotting around the globe dispensing the gift of freedom like Santa Claus, when that’s far from the truth. Freedom has been the guise for the wars we have fought for the last century and we fall for it every time.

    Fortunately, the flag we will take the flag with us to Zion as the nation crumbles into planned anarchy.

    “When the day comes in which the Kingdom of God will bear rule, the flag of the United States will proudly flutter unsullied on the flagstaff of liberty and equal rights, without a spot to sully its fair surface; the glorious flag our fathers have bequeathed to us will then be unfurled to the breeze by those who have power to hoist it aloft and defend its sanctity.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 2:317.)

    I will still pledge, though I may omit the words “indivisible”. I pledge to those God-given principles our nation was founded on, but not what we’ve become.

    Our Republic

  42. Shaun says:

    For me, the key distinction is one that has been brought up a lot lately over Obama’s intentional misquoting of the Declaration of Independence.

    Mr. Obama has twice quoted it as “all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights,” when it correctly reads “all men are created equal, that they are endowed BY THEIR CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights.” Obama’s goal is the same as Bellamy’s, to make the government the supreme authority and grantor of rights in the minds of the people. If the government is the grantor of rights, then it is well within their power & moral authority to amend or restrict those rights.

    The founders were very careful in stating that our rights come from our Creator. They did this to clarify that the government’s role is to protect those rights, it being “self evident” that no earthly power has the right to amend or take away what God has given.

    This distinction is why I support the pledge in its current form. Bellamy never included the words “under God” in his pledge. He wanted us to see the Federal Government as the supreme power. With their inclusion we become “one nation UNDER GOD.” The federal government, the flag, states and every citizen are all under the authority of God. Thus, neither the federal or state governments, or the people themselves have any legitimate power to overturn the Natural Rights of men.

    As for objections to the word “indivisible” in the pledge, they are founded on the idea that the federal government could be crushing our rights while holding the states hostage to the tyranny because, after all, we are “indivisible.” I believe that the same two precious words that give the rest of the pledge validity do the same for this word as well.

    To be a “nation under God” is to be abiding by the laws of “Nature and Natures God.” Should a state be allowed to violate our unalienable rights and simply part ways when the federal government stands to protect them. God forbid! Joseph Smith appealed to the president when the Saints rights were being trampled by the states. Unfortunately, his plea fell, not on deaf ears, but, on ears seeking reelection. Supporting the saints would have weakened the campaign.

    The author of the article appeared to use Lincoln’s insistence that the southern states could not walk away as a negative example of federal power. However, the unalienable, God granted rights of countless numbers of God’s children were being violated. The practice of slavery in violation of the constitution was a compromise made by the founders to unite the colonies. Many of them knew the issue would have to be set right at a future time.

    As long as we are a “nation under God” abiding by the laws of “Nature and Natures God,” no state would conceive of a departure from the whole. For, when we are thus conducting ourselves the relationship between state and federal government will only improve the states & preserve their freedom. We seem to have drifted far from that providential condition of which I speak. But, I have hope to regain it.

    The driving force today behind removing the Pledge of Allegiance form our schools & public forums is Atheism-the ideal ideology for Marxism and Socialism to thrive. Thus, the Marxists and Socialists of today stand behind its abolishment. They aren’t worrying about whose Idea a pledge was or the intent of the original verbiage. They are terrified of the two words at its heart.

    For me, the validity of the Pledge of Allegiance hinges entirely on two precious words.

    • You make many good points, including that the bizarre atheists only seem to have a problem with two words in the pledge and its ritual. The author of the pledge of allegiance was a minister but he did not deliberately leave God out because he felt the reference was inappropriate, that is a popular myth deliberately spread to mislead people. The pledge was a tiny part of a program written and/or overseen by Francis Bellamy and replete with prayers, hymns, references to God, including the phrase “under God.” That is one reason why the original pledge program is never performed in government schools. Or think of it this way, one reason why the tiny pledge part is performed is because out of the larger program it is a rare part that DOES NOT mention religion. Bellamy was a Christian socialist and a religious wacko and his pledge was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior (still is). See the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry. Atheists would have a much better chance of success in the courts if the entire pledge program were performed in schools.

  43. Vash the Stampede says:

    “When the spirit of persecution, the spirit of hatred, of wrath, and malice ceases in the world against this people, it will be the time that this people have apostatized and joined hands with the wicked, and never until then; which I pray may never come.”

    Brigham Young, Discourses p. 112

    I applaud any effort, especially a clear, reasonable, and well written piece like this one, that separates the good from the evil, the righteous from the wicked. We learn much about ourselves (and others through their comments) about where we stand. We learn who may be friends and who are enemies.

    Unity is not inherently good of itself; unity in truth and righteousness is good. Case in point: Hitler united Germany. “It is better to be divided by truth, than united in error.” – Adrian Rogers

    If Connor’s goal was to “unify” at all costs, he would write praise of everyone no matter what they did. He would preach pleasing doctrines, being careful to offend no one. Such platitudes disgust me, and should incite any man professing to follow Christ. Don’t waste time appeasing the wicked; preach nothing but repentance.

    If we were more concerned about offending God, than offending our neighbors, and could lead those around us by example, we might see more repentance. If enough individuals did so, we might even rekindle hope of redemption for this nation.

    But if we don’t repent, as individuals and as a nation, we are lost. There is no hope for anyone who doesn’t repent. And though the judgments have not come yet, they will come as surely as God lives, according to His will and timing.

    Connor, thanks for a reinforcement of truths I already knew. I haven’t pledged allegiance to the flag for years. Thanks for an invitation to repent. The truth cuts some to the heart; hopefully they choose to be humble and receptive; but if not, it’s more important to please God than man. As I read this article I was taught by the Spirit something I can personally repent of, which you did not say specifically, but thanks for writing this and giving the opportunity for the Spirit to teach me.

    When others pledge to the flag, I say: “I pledge allegiance to the God of the founding of America, and to the Constitution He caused to stand, one nation, under God, united in truth, with liberty and justice for all.”

    May we more fully acknowledge God’s hand in all things, be more humble and grateful for His mighty power and mercy, and prepare for His coming wrath and judgments against the US for our (collective) violation of His laws. For we will surely be destroyed along with the rest of the wicked, unless we repent.

  44. Anarcho-Capitalist says:

    Have you all seen this video?

  45. Anarcho-Capitalist says:

    And this article: Pledging Allegiance to the Omnipotent Lincolnian State

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo54.html

  46. Mike Thompson says:

    Though some of us disagree with Connor on some things, we should also show him respect. He is a good man who is trying to do the best he can. I remember when I was younger, I rejected everything my parents had stood for. A lot of good has come of that. I joined the LDS Church. I served a mission, I married in the Temple, I became a conservative, incorporating a lot of what my family had taught me into my beliefs. From my stepfather, the knowledge of communism, denigration of religion, not being knowledgeable and involved, as his family was, who had all their lands, etc., confiscated in Poland, and Czechoslovakia when the Communists took over. From my mother, immigrant family from Germany who became Mayors, attorneys, etc., as well as fighting for the north in the civil war. From my father, a heritage of fighting for America in the Revolutionary War and fighting for the South in the civil war. We learn as we go on. Our tactics change, though philosophy does not really change. When I was younger, I was much more the idealist and have had to become much more realistic in later years. Honor these younger people. Those of us who are getting older cannot do this forever and we need them. Show them respect, listen to what they are saying. Think of when we were younger and how we were and reacted to things, the arrogance many younger people had. Most of my friends became hippies and very liberal. I went into the Marine Corps. and went the other way. If everyone agreed on everything, this would be a terribly boring world to live in. We learn from each other and should concentrate more on that than criticizing each other so much. Connor knows we disagree on some things and yet, he has always shown me respect and I respect him. He is on a road which will help our nation. He is a good man.

  47. James Paul says:

    The rhetoric found within this discourse pretty much explains how changing paradigms leave each generation mostly oblivious to factual history.
    The word sacrifice as applied to military service, rings quite hollow when comparisons are made about the days of declared wars versus the silly acts of attrition which are contrived by men who profit greatly in the sale and manufacture of arms, along with the banksters that have promoted such wars for profit since the founding of this nation.
    The nation has been govt educated, since the days of Carnegie, Dewey and Rhodes, which has altered the ability to learn and understand true history. This has prevented truth from even being recognized by those who proclaim that Conner is wrong in his thinking, while he is actually displaying the fact that he has done a lot of study and thinking.
    My time in the U.S. Army was when we were drafted , with NO SILLY LOTTERY. We were paid $78 a month and considered ourselves lucky when we realized that those who were quickly drafted into WW II, were earning about $45 a month.
    I was shocked when the plans for an all volunteer military were announced as I knew a drafted Army was a cross section of the nation with rich and poor crawling through the same mud. PHD’s and grade school dropouts were given the same training and length of service.
    From the day that conscripted service was ended, we have constantly heard how the military is underpaid and yet they have never even come close to being paid the minimum wage. We actually have a mercenary service while most can not recognize this fact.
    They have been brainwashed into serving banksters and the very conglomerates which Eisenhower warned against in his farewell speech.
    We should all thank Conner for his long study of the reasons behind the factual demise of our once proud nation.
    I can proudly announce that I was collecting my $9 a month overseas pay while most who rail against Conner had grandparents still in govt schools.
    Yes age does make a difference, but only if you study and think.
    My motto remains, “pushing 77 is exercise enough”.

  48. awohali ayegali says:

    To all:

    My people had raised a Title of Liberty but I do not salute nor respect any flag that represents a government that oppresses. My people have been dishonored by many treaties of this so called free government but they are as the Gadiantons of old the seek to rob, murder and oppress to get gain if you study history this Unites States of America started out OK but by the time of the Civil War it had become virtually corrupted by its leaders and continues today. My people though defeated in battle but not spirit signed treaty after treaty with this U.S. government that did not honor any of those treaties but instead has continued to destroy my people descendants of the house of Israel. My only loyalties are to Jesus Christ!

  49. Great post. And the facts are more compelling than you mention. The Pledge of Allegiance was the origin of the nazi salute. It resulted from the early pledge’s use of the military salute that was then extended outward to point at the flag. See the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry. It was not an ancient Roman salute. The Bellamys (Edward and Francis) were American national socialists and influenced German national socialists, their rituals, dogma and symbols (including the use of the swastika as crossed S-letters for socialism).

    • Yukonyon says:

      Max, as I recall, the swastika originates from Hitler being one that avidly studied Budda, not crossed S’s. I know for a fact that in the orient, you can see buddhist temples with a reverse swastika on them.

      • There really is no evidence that Hitler avidly studied Buddha. Although there are “swastikas” on buddhist temples, German national socialists did not call their symbol a swastika. They called it a Hakenkreuz (hooked cross) because it was a type of cross and was used to represent crossed S-letters for their socialism (see the work of the symbologist Dr. Rex Curry). Hitler altered the early version of his symbol to turn it 45 degrees from the horizontal and to always point in the S-letter direction, to highlight the S-letters for his socialism. Similar alphabetical symbolism was used in the SS, the NSV, the SA etc and even the VW logo (a V and W, or two V-letters meshed to form a V and W, for “Volkswagen”).

  50. Sister F says:

    So glad to find some who stand with me on this. I also do not pledge my alliegance to the flag. I have always thought it was strange, even as a kid reciting it in school, that we promised to honor a piece of fabric. I like the revision (“to the constitution…”) much better!

  51. Jan says:

    Don’t feel bad about the age card being played Connor. They played it on Joseph Smith. When someone tries to discredit you because of age, it is because their position is weak and they are trying to bolster it.

    I’m 60 and greatly appreciate that people of any age care enough to invest the time to search, ponder and pray in order to discover correct principles. That you are young gives me hope that all is not lost for the future.

  52. Yukonyon says:

    Great post, Greg. I really enjoyed the historical context and the introspection.

  53. Yukonyon says:

    I stand corrected. The credit goes to Conner

  54. J. Darrington says:

    I have read many of these comments, not all mind you, but many and because of their exhaustive content it was very difficult to assimillate all, however, even captain Moroni in the book of Mormon raised the title of liberty and gatherer as many to hsi cause both old and young, bond and free to support the cause of liberty.

    Herein I mention Chapter 46 of the book of Alma in The Book of Mormon, Captain Moroni declares by way of the rent coat he wrote upon and hoisted on a pole and called the people to the standar of liberty he so affectionately and passionately defended. The ideas behind the pledge are to unite the people in a common focus of defending liberty and justice under god, indivisible in purpose not thought. For where there is no vision the people perish. Symbolism in all things is always left to personal interpretation in this society of free speech, however it does not discount the truths thus inspired by God even with the most flawed people who give that inspied tidbit of truth. Cleon Skowsen was a man who could read through all the dogma to find the real truth and allow us the ability to study these things out in our minds, decide for ourselves, pray for inspiration from the holy Ghost and follow the promptings of the spirit.

    If we lean on the arm of flesh we must unavoidably perish. If we are the true Latter-day Saints who are seeking a return to true liberty then rhetoric will do nothing but create confusion, we should study for ourselves, draw our own conclusions and seek the spirit’s guidance on the matter, he will not lead us wrong.

    Have we asked the Lord in our Heart if the pledge of allegiance is in itself evil and intent on indoctrinating its reciters in ways contrary to the commandments? I think not because I am certain that President Monson still performs the pledge of allegiance. If the. Prophet of God still shows allegiance to the flag who am I to dispute this? Follow the prophet’s example in all things and we will not be shaken.

  55. Micah Burnet says:

    There’s only one thing I feel comfortable pledging allegiance to, and that is God. I support my country insofar as my country is righteous. I support the Constitution because it was inspired of God, or based on correct principles. Our country is not righteous, and I hate that I feel uncomfortable pledging allegiance to a symbol that is revered around the world as a symbol of tyranny. I hope one day, it will again be the symbol of freedom and holiness it was meant to be.

    It doesn’t matter to me whether President Monson pledges to the flag or not, I don’t know his heart or his mind, but I do know the church bends to the power of Satan on the earth for the time being (see the Manifestos). What would come of a public spectacle of the president of the church not pledging allegiance? I think relying on the arm of flesh includes what we think the prophet might do and not on the best information we have and then revelation.

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