Friday, September 30, 2016

Saying the Pledge of Allegiance to a faded flag

I pledge allegiance …

The sky was yellow Wednesday evening, so I took the flag down before the rain came. Thursday morning before work I put it back out, sliding the aluminum pole into the unsteady brass holder on our front porch, immediately placing my right hand against my heart and saying the pledge because, well, that’s what I do.

… to the flag …

The old flag is faded. The field of royal blue is now more of a bluish white. I probably should replace it. But it was a quality flag. I got it when we bought the house 16 years ago. The stars are embroidered; none of those cheap printed flags.

… of the United States of America …

But I like the faded flag. It seems apt. Not that we are a country fading, in decline — though we certainly seem to be, especially of late, divided, bickering, hating each other, unable to function while our problems deepen and our rivals thrive. We are into the second quarter of our third century. Not a young country anymore. Could we possibly go from the recklessness of youth straight to the folly of age without ever being wise?

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Postscript: a reader pointed out that I forgot a word in the pledge. My immediate impulse was to hurry to put it in. Then I paused, deciding to leave it out, as a reminder, since a lot of people seem to forget that word.


  1. I didn't notice nor was I able to name the word until I looked it up. In grade school, nobody knew what "indivisible" meant and hardly anyone could pronounce it properly. One great attempt (among many lesser ones) was made to divide the Republic. Up to now, it still stands "one nation." Thank God!


  2. I remember learning to sing a song that started "My country Tissafee" in kindergarten. That was back in the days before Tissafee was "under God" but still "indivisible." To me that addition has always interrupted the flow of the pledge and now, in my old age, I stumble when it gets there because I revert back to the way it was and forget that it is "under God." Short term memory is the first to go.

  3. ♪ O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
    ♪ Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
    ♪ Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
    ♪ Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
    ♪ Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    ♪ And this be our motto - “In God is our trust,”
    ♪ And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    ♪ O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

  4. A nice, balanced appreciation of our national ensign. A well known civil war song about it was so popular it was promoted as the national anthem:

    "Yes we'll rally round the flag boys, we'll rally once again.
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom.
    We will rally from the hillsides, we will rally from the plain.
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom."

    The irony is that it was sung on both sided, with different martial wording, by both the Blue and the Grey.

    Tom Evans


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