Don’t forget Michigan’s pledge!

January 9, 2007

Michigan has a state pledge of allegiance, too:

 I pledge allegiance to the flag of Michigan, and to the state for which it stands, two beautiful peninsulas united by a bridge of steel, where equal opportunity and justice to all is our ideal.

Michigan’s law gives credit to the author, too:  Harold G. Coburn.  It’s in Act 175 of 1972.

Michigan State Flag, from Wikipedia

Fillmore’s writings on line

January 9, 2007

Manchester Union Democrat, Dec 8, 1852, with news of Fillmore's SOTU address

Manchester, New Hampshire, Union Democrat,
December 8, 1852 (?); with news of Fillmore’s State of the Union Address

Millard Fillmore was a grade school drop out. He took the path to a career that many in his day did — he apprenticed, and worked his way up. Legal education in his day (circa 1815 to 1825) required that one apprentice in a law office, to “read for the law.” In that way, Fillmore, who didn’t graduate elementary school, became a lawyer.

Lawyering requires words, of course, but Fillmore was no great writer than we know, especially compared to Teddy Roosevelt, who was a newspaper reporter, or John Kennedy, in whose name a Pulitzer Prize-winning book was published (controversy for another time; Profiles in Courage, (Perennial Classics Books, 2000). We might hope that some institution will undertake a collection of Fillmore’s legal arguments as they may be spread across New York court archives, much as the Lincoln Library has scoured Illinois for Lincoln’s writings and oral arguments.

We may assume that Fillmore participated heavily in the writing of his state of the union addresses, in a day when ghost writers were not listed in the staff books of the White House. So they would contain genuine Fillmore ideas and phrases. Fillmore’s three state of the union speeches are available at the Gutenberg Project.

I’ll be mining them for accurate quotes, you may rest assured. (Does he mention bathtubs in any of the speeches? No.) Read the rest of this entry »

Flags at half-staff for President Ford, interest at full peak

January 9, 2007

For many years my colleagues in Scouting and I have mused at the great lack of interest in flag etiquette. We have collected dozens of cases of improper flag display, usually by people who were trying to honor the flag and nation, but who went about it contrary to good taste or the flag code, or both.

A couple of days after President Ford’s death I posted a short reminder of what the flag code calls for, with a photo of a flag flying at half-staff over the White House — a photo taken in 2004, after the death of Ronald Reagan, but the only one I could find at the time. That post is by now, far and away the most popular post on this blog since we started it up last July. For the past few days the number of visits to that post continued to grow.

I don’t know why the post is so popular. I hope people are getting from it a touch of flag etiquette — that would be fitting an proper especially as a result of the funeral of Gerald Ford, supreme nice guy and Eagle Scout. But there it is.

Today I found that the White House had included a photo of the White House flag at half-staff on December 26, 2006, in honor of Gerald Ford. Here it is:

White House flag at half-staff in honor of Gerald Ford, after his death

A reminder again: The flag should be hoisted quickly (as always), to the peak of the pole, and then be lowered solemnly to half-mast. When the flag is retired at the end of the day, it should be raised again to the peak, quickly, and then lowered solemnly.

See also:

Correction: Georgia also has a state pledge of allegiance

January 9, 2007

David Parker at Another History Blog updates and corrects our information on state pledges of allegiance:  Texas is not alone, Georgia also has a state pledge.

Georgia does not require students to say the pledge daily, however.

These provisions are often hidden away in state laws that do not index well at the legal sites I use, and the Cornell University Law Library’s Legal Information Institute.  Consequently, it’s quite possible I have missed other state pledges.  If you know of any others, please let me know.

And, in the meantime, go check out Prof. Parker’s post.  The details make the story, as always.

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