(TheRedWire.com) – In 1892, a former Baptist preacher with socialist ideas wrote the pledge of allegiance as a marketing gimmick to sell flags to readers to the country’s largest magazine at the time. At the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the new world, the Companion magazine encouraged every public school from coast-to-coast to fly the Stars and Stripes and salute it with an oath.
By World War II, schools required the pledge at the beginning of each day. As the Cold War intensified, President Dwight Eisenhower encouraged Congress to insert the words “under God” to contrast the United States with godless communism. Today, only four states don’t require the pledge of allegiance. It’s part of the daily order in Congress, and untold numbers of naturalized citizens repeat the oath as part of the formal citizenship acceptance. The military salutes it, and states and local governments recite it. Now, if one Wisconsin local politician gets her way, the county government will no longer recite the pledge of allegiance.
Bellamy and the Pledge of Allegiance
Very few Americans have heard the name Francis Bellamy. Yet, his pledge of allegiance is repeated untold thousands of times across the country every day. He said that what made America unique and distinct were its principles. So as long as public education endured and citizens recited the pledge, Bellamy believed the country would not perish.
Unfortunately, there’s more to the story, and some hang on the negative to suggest we shouldn’t use the pledge. Bellamy argued capitalism and the immigration of inferior races eroded the traditional values of his time. Fortunately, by 1923 he changed his views but still loved the principles behind the pledge of allegiance: Indivisible, liberty, and justice for all.
Wisconsin County Supervisor Wants to End the Pledge
In mid-March, Dane County Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner proposed the county board cease the pledge of allegiance before public meetings. She said it didn’t seem appropriate in a pluralistic society striving for inclusion. Wegleitner accused the pledge of divisiveness.
Wegleitner pointed to neighboring municipalities in Wisconsin that also don’t recite the pledge of allegiance. The county supervisor said her opposition was much like a pro football player who took a knee during the national anthem in support of racial justice.
So, could Wegleitner get her way?
It’s entirely possible. On Thursday, March 24, the board’s executive committee considered the proposal and decided to await a decision after the April 5 election. Some predict the new board to be the most progressive in the county’s history.
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