Just stay quiet: Poster hoax about the Pledge of Allegiance

September 15, 2013

Anybody send this to you on Facebook (100 times, maybe?)

Hoax claims about the Pledge of Allegiance, found on Facebook and innumerable e-mails

Hoax claims about the Pledge of Allegiance, found on Facebook and innumerable e-mails

Clever, eh?  It repeats the McCarthy-era editing of the Pledge of Allegiance, and then comes up with this whopper:

. . . My generation grew up reciting this every morning in school, with my hand on my heart.  They no longer do that for fear of offending someone!

Let’s see how many Americans will re-post and not care about offending someone!

Not quite so long-lived as the Millard Fillmore Bathtub Hoax — which started in 1917 — but a lot more common these days.

Just as false.  Maybe more perniciously so.


  1. Actually, 45 of our 50 states require the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.  The five exceptions:  Iowa, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Vermont and Wyoming.  See any pattern there?
  2. None of the five states previously required the Pledge, and then stopped.
  3. None of the five states claim to not require the pledge in order to avoid offending anyone.  Oklahoma would be happy to offend people on such issues, most of the time.
  4. Reposting historically inaccurate claims, without fear of offending anyone, is no virtue.  It’s just silly.

The creator of that poster is probably well under the age of 50, and may have grown up with the hand-over-heart salute used after World War II.  That was not the original salute, and I’d imagine the author is wholly ignorant of the original and why it was changed.

Students pledging to the flag, 1899, 8th Division, Washington, D.C. Part of the Frances Benjamin Johnston 1890 - 1900 Washington, D.C., school survey.

Wikipedia image and caption: Students pledging to the flag, 1899, 8th Division, Washington, D.C. Part of the Frances Benjamin Johnston 1890 – 1900 Washington, D.C., school survey.

Wikipedia gives a concise history of the salute:

Swearing of the Pledge is accompanied by a salute. An early version of the salute, adopted in 1892, was known as the Bellamy salute. It started with the hand outstretched toward the flag, palm down, and ended with the palm up. Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, developed later, the United States Congress instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute. Removal of the Bellamy salute occurred on December 22, 1942, when Congress amended the Flag Code language first passed into law on June 22, 1942.

Students in an unnamed school in 1941, offering the Bellamy Salute for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Students in an unnamed school in 1941, offering the Bellamy Salute for the Pledge of Allegiance. Wikipedia image.

One might understand why the Bellamy Salute was changed, during war with Nazi Germany.

Arrogance and ignorance combine to form many different kinds of prejudices, all of them ugly.  The arrogant assumption that only “our generation” learned patriotism and that whatever goes on in schools today is not as good as it was “in our day,” regardless how many decades it’s been since the speaker was in a public school, compounds the ignorance of the fact that since 1980, forced patriotic exercises in schools have increased, not decreased.

Like much about our nation’s troubles, assumptions based on ignorance often are incorrect assumptions.  Consequently, they give rise to what is today clinically known as the Dunning Kruger Effect (or syndrome), so elegantly summed by by Bertrand Russell in the 1930s:

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

Humorously summed up by “Kin” Hubbard:

It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.

Ignorance is a terrible disease, but one easily cured, by reading.  We can hope.


That flag you flew yesterday — want to burn it today?

July 5, 2011

Some of the more astute students in our high school classes ask questions about everything.  For example, they ask:  “What does the Pledge of Allegiance mean, when it says, ‘ . . . and to the Republic for which it stands?'”

Is the Pledge all that important?  Is the flag all that important?

Maybe.  How would you answer that question, really?

Penn and Teller offer a demonstration:

What do you think?  Did they burn a flag?  Should that sort of performance be legal?

What if Penn and Teller burned a flag in the White House?

An exercise in ambiguity:  A fictional drama about a sleight of hand, illusionary performance.  (Best line:  The answer to the question, “Did you go to law school?”  For the record, yes, I did go to law school.  I’m an amateur clown.)

Did you fly your  flag yesterday?

Flag Day 2010 – Wave those stars and stripes

June 14, 2010

June 14th marks the anniversary of the resolution passed by the Second Continental Congress in 1777, adopting the Stars and Stripes as the national flag.

Fly your flag today. This is one of the score of dates upon which Congress suggests we fly our flags.

Flag Day 1916, parade in Washington, D.C. - employees of National Geographic Society march - photo by Gilbert Grosvenor

Flag Day 1916, parade in Washington, D.C. - employees of National Geographic Society march - photo by Gilbert Grosvenor

The photo above drips with history. Here’s the description from the National Geographic Society site:

One hundred and fifty National Geographic Society employees march in the Preparedness Parade on Flag Day, June 14, in 1916. With WWI underway in Europe and increasing tensions along the Mexican border, President Woodrow Wilson marched alongside 60,000 participants in the parade, just one event of many around the country intended to rededicate the American people to the ideals of the nation.

Not only the anniversary of the day the flag was adopted by Congress, Flag Day is also the anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower’s controversial addition of the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.

(Text adapted from “:Culture: Allegiance to the Pledge?” June 2006, National Geographic magazine)

The first presidential declaration of Flag Day was 1916, by President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson won re-election the following November with his pledge to keep America out of World War I, but by April of 1917 he would ask for a declaration of war after Germany resumed torpedoing of U.S. ships. The photo shows an America dedicated to peace but closer to war than anyone imagined. Because the suffragettes supported Wilson so strongly, he returned the favor, supporting an amendment to the Constitution to grant women a Constitutional right to vote. The amendment passed Congress with Wilson’s support and was ratified by the states.

The flags of 1916 should have carried 48 stars. New Mexico and Arizona were the 47th and 48th states, Arizona joining the union in 1913. No new states would be added until Alaska and Hawaii in 1959. That 46-year period marked the longest time the U.S. had gone without adding states, until today. No new states have been added since Hawaii, more than 49 years ago. (U.S. history students: Have ever heard of an essay, “Manifest destiny fulfilled?”)

150 employees of the National Geographic Society marched, and as the proud CEO of any organization, Society founder Gilbert H. Grosvenor wanted a photo of his organization’s contribution to the parade. Notice that Grosvenor himself is the photographer.

I wonder if Woodrow Wilson took any photos that day, and where they might be hidden.

History of Flag Day from a larger perspective, from the Library of Congress:

Since 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing a national Flag Day on June 14, Americans have commemorated the adoption of the Stars and Stripes by celebrating June 14 as Flag Day. Prior to 1916, many localities and a few states had been celebrating the day for years. Congressional legislation designating that date as the national Flag Day was signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1949; the legislation also called upon the president to issue a flag day proclamation every year.

According to legend, in 1776, George Washington commissioned Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to create a flag for the new nation. Scholars debate this legend, but agree that Mrs. Ross most likely knew Washington and sewed flags. To date, there have been twenty-seven official versions of the flag, but the arrangement of the stars varied according to the flag-makers’ preferences until 1912 when President Taft standardized the then-new flag’s forty-eight stars into six rows of eight. The forty-nine-star flag (1959-60), as well as the fifty-star flag, also have standardized star patterns. The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the fiftieth state on August 21, 1959.

Fly your flag with pride today.

Elmhurst Flag Day 1939, DuPage County Centennial - Posters From the WPA

Elmhurst Flag Day 1939, DuPage County Centennial - Posters From the WPA

Elmhurst flag day, June 18, 1939, Du Page County centennial / Beauparlant.
Chicago, Ill.: WPA Federal Art Project, 1939.
By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943

This is an encore post, from June 14, 2009

Brave 10-year-old Arkansas boy refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance, on principle

November 17, 2009

Adults worry about peer pressure.  Kids can goad other kids into doing stupid things, dangerous things, illegal things, and immoral things.

Pressure from adults on kids might be just as strong.

What about a 10-year-old kid who stands up to peer pressure, and stands for principle against adults who use all sorts of inducements to get him to do something he believes is wrong?

I offer a salute to Will Phillips of  West Fork School District, in Washington County, Arkansas.

Will believes homosexuals in America are not beneficiaries of  liberty and justice for all.  Will now refuses to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance for that reason.

It’s probably not what I’d advise the young man to do to protest, but he has every right.  He’s thought it through, which may not be said for the substitute teacher and the school administrator who tried to pressure him into giving up on his principles.

In the Arkansas Times, David Koon writes the story:

A boy and his flag

Why Will won’t pledge.

David Koon
Updated: 11/5/2009

WILL PHILLIPS: Freedom lover.

Will Phillips, freedom lover, in Arkansas (Arkansas Times photo)

Will Phillips isn’t like other boys his age.

For one thing, he’s smart. Scary smart. A student in the West Fork School District in Washington County, he skipped a grade this year, going directly from the third to the fifth. When his family goes for a drive, discussions are much more apt to be about Teddy Roosevelt and terraforming Mars than they are about Spongebob Squarepants and what’s playing on Radio Disney.

It was during one of those drives that the discussion turned to the pledge of allegiance and what it means. Laura Phillips is Will’s mother. “Yes, my son is 10,” she said. “But he’s probably more aware of the meaning of the pledge than a lot of adults. He’s not just doing it rote recitation. We raised him to be aware of what’s right, what’s wrong, and what’s fair.”

Will’s family has a number of gay friends. In recent years, Laura Phillips said, they’ve been trying to be a straight ally to the gay community, going to the pride parades and standing up for the rights of their gay and lesbian neighbors. They’ve been especially dismayed by the effort to take away the rights of homosexuals – the right to marry, and the right to adopt. Given that, Will immediately saw a problem with the pledge of allegiance.

“I’ve always tried to analyze things because I want to be lawyer,” Will said. “I really don’t feel that there’s currently liberty and justice for all.”

After asking his parents whether it was against the law not to stand for the pledge, Will decided to do something. On Monday, Oct. 5, when the other kids in his class stood up to recite the pledge of allegiance, he remained sitting down. The class had a substitute teacher that week, a retired educator from the district, who knew Will’s mother and grandmother. Though the substitute tried to make him stand up, he respectfully refused. He did it again the next day, and the next day. Each day, the substitute got a little more cross with him. On Thursday, it finally came to a head. The teacher, Will said, told him that she knew his mother and grandmother, and they would want him to stand and say the pledge.

“She got a lot more angry and raised her voice and brought my mom and my grandma up,” Will said. “I was fuming and was too furious to really pay attention to what she was saying. After a few minutes, I said, ‘With all due respect, ma’am, you can go jump off a bridge.’ ”

Will was sent to the office, where he was given an assignment to look up information about the flag and what it represents. Meanwhile, the principal called his mother.

“She said we have to talk about Will, because he told a sub to jump off a bridge,” Laura Phillips said. “My first response was: Why? He’s not just going to say this because he doesn’t want to do his math work.”

Eventually, Phillips said, the principal told her that the altercation was over Will’s refusal to stand for the pledge of allegiance, and admitted that it was Will’s right not to stand. Given that, Laura Phillips asked the principal when they could expect an apology from the teacher. “She said, ‘Well I don’t think that’s necessary at this point,’ ” Phillips said.

After Phillips put a post on the instant-blogging site twitter.com about the incident, several of her friends got angry and alerted the news media. Meanwhile, Will Phillips still refuses to stand during the pledge of allegiance. Though many of his friends at school have told him they support his decision, those who don’t have been unkind, and louder.

“They [the kids who don’t support him] are much more crazy, and out of control and vocal about it than supporters are.”

Given that his protest is over the rights of gays and lesbians, the taunts have taken a predictable bent. “In the lunchroom and in the hallway, they’ve been making comments and doing pranks, and calling me gay,” he said. “It’s always the same people, walking up and calling me a gaywad.”

Even so, Will said that he can’t foresee anything in the near future that will make him stand for the pledge. To help him deal with the peer pressure, his parents have printed off posts in his support on blogs and websites. “We’ve told him that people here might not support you, but we’ve shown him there are people all over that support you,” Phillips said. “It’s really frustrating to him that people are being so immature.”

At the end of our interview, I ask young Will a question that might be a civics test nightmare for your average 10-year-old. Will’s answer, though, is good enough — simple enough, true enough — to give me a little rush of goose pimples.  What does being an American mean?

“Freedom of speech,” Will says, without even stopping to think. “The freedom to disagree. That’s what I think pretty much being an American represents.”

Somewhere, Thomas Jefferson smiles.

Sore, suckered loser

February 5, 2009

One of the sites suckered in by the Obama/Las Vegas/Pledge hoax keeps insisting he’s really taking the high road when he spreads calumny against the president, against teachers, and against the flag.

So when it became clear that there is no corroboration for the wild claims against teachers and the schools of Clark County School District (Nevada), the site’s ruling masked man, Ronin (see his avatar) claimed the story was really about “idol worship” of Obama gone awry.

I called him to task, he went all Dembski and Uncommon Descent on us.  No, that’s not fair — he’s worse than Dembski.  In a hoax, he has put my name on his own profane remarks, replacing what I actually said that he cannot respond to.  Do we need any further evidence that these guys are trying to perpetrate hoaxes against Obama and teachers?

Obama’s opponents lack all honor, it appears.

New pledge hoax slams Obama, teachers and public schools

January 29, 2009

With this blog’s occasional focus on flag etiquette and my concern for faux patriotism, I’ve been getting barbs all day on a story out of Clark County, Nevada (home of Las Vegas).

It’s a threefer of hatred, slamming President Obama, teachers, and public schools, all at once.  Plus it is rather disrespectful of the U.S. flag.

The Clark County School District calls the story “bogus!!” with the exclamation points clear.  Spokesmen for the district complain they’ve been fielding calls all day, none with details.  Their check of the district’s schools turns up nothing.

The claim is that an elementary school student wants to drop out of school after being “forced” to say the Pledge of Allegiance to a picture of President Barack Obama backed by several U.S. flags.

Bloggers fume.  “The gall!”

Press spokesmen for the district say they encourage parents to call any principal of any school in the district with any complaint.  A survey of principals finds none who knew of such a complaint.

None of the bloggers bothered to check the facts, it appears.  The story so far checks out to be a hoax.  No one can name the school, no one can name the kid, no one can corroborate the story.  

U.S.. Nevada and Clark County flags fly at Moapa Valley High School in the Clark County School District, Nevada. Wikipedia image

U.S.. Nevada and Clark County flags fly at Moapa Valley High School in the Clark County School District, Nevada. Wikipedia image

Students in Clark County schools say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning as a usual practice.  School officials were unsure whether this is done by state law, district ordinance, or tradition.  Through much of the 20th century, it was common for schools to have a picture of the sitting president in every classroom.   That tradition fell to budget cuts years ago.

What motivates people to invent such stories?  What motivates bloggers to spread stories without bothering to make the simplest check to see whether the story is accurate?  One of the things that screams “Hoax!” in this story is the complete inaction of the student and parent.  Were they worked up about it, why didn’t they bother to complain?

Here’s the wall of shame, bloggers who got suckered and repeated the story without bothering to check it out (isn’t it odd that they all seem to know exactly what photo of Obama was used, and they show it on their blogs, but they don’t know where it was used?  Isn’t it odd that they use a color photo while saying it was projected on an overhead projector, which would turn that photo into gray and white mush?):

I’ll wager that’s just the tip of a very mean-spirited iceberg of calumny.

Update, January 30 – More hate-filled spreading of the story:

Still the gullible fall, on February 1:

Nearly responsible skepticism:

I spoke again with David Roddy at the Clark County School District offices.  He confirmed that as of late this afternoon (January 30) no one had stepped forward to identify the school where the event is alleged to have occurred, nor the name of anyone involved, nor any other fact that could be corroborated to vouch for the accuracy of the story.

See “7 Signs of Bogus History.”  Notice any of these characteristics in this story’s allegations?

Update, September 5, 2009: No evidence of this event has ever been produced outside of the original two anonymous blog posts.  My investigation found no such incident in any school in or around Las Vegas, nor anywhere else.  Pure hoax.

Don’t let others be misled; spread the word:

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Obama leads the Pledge of Allegiance

August 8, 2008

Got another e-mail today, alleging that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama refuses to salute the U.S. flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance.

I was surprised to discover that the U.S. Senate has added the pledge to their opening exercises — new from when I staffed the Senate. But, what that means, with C-SPAN televising the proceedings, is that there is video evidence of Sen. Obama leading the pledge, if he does, when he substitutes for the presiding officer (the Vice President) in the Senate.

On June 21, 2007, for example, Obama presided over the Senate. See for yourself.

More students with good ideas about improving schools

September 29, 2007

Not on the same academic plane as Andrea Drusch, but important. See the details at Pharyngula, “Growing bolder in Boulder.”

Yee Haw! The first Fiesta de Tejas! is on the web! 2007 Wildflower edition

April 2, 2007

Bluebonnet from Ft. Worth Army Corps of Engineers

No apologies, but thanks to Bob Wills, of course, whose holler that the “Texas Playboys are on the air!” should be an inspiration to everybody. Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys at Casa Mana, California, 1943

Just what in the world is Fiesta de Tejas!? This is the inaugural — and we hope, not last — edition of a monthly collection of weblog postings about Texas history, Texas geography, Texana and other things Texas. We’re finding our way as we go, much as pioneers got to Texas first, and only then began to realize that they didn’t know exactly where they were, and that they didn’t know exactly what they had.

This is a carnival of Texas blogs. Texas is big, vigorous, and in need of exploration on the World Wide Web. My hope is to bring together sources on Texas history, politics, economics, arts, geography and sciences, in a place that promotes the general dissemination of knowledge about the state. My hope is that teachers of 7th grade Texas history will find a lot here to supplement and improve their teaching of the course, that teachers of history and geography in other places will also find material to enrich their own teaching about Texas, that students will find information to make their projects and papers into rewarding explorations of Texas’ unique persona.

I dubbed it a fiesta, because “carnival” seems too commonplace a term for a place where people can buy macaroni in the shape of the state. I used the older form of the word, “Tejas,” both to reflect the historical focus, and to avoid confusion and copyright issues with established things called Fiesta of Texas. “Tejas” is the original, probably Caddoan word meaning “friend” that Spanish explorers misunderstood to mean the name of the people and the place, and whose spelling quickly metamorphosed into Texas with an “x.”

Texas is the second largest state in the United States, physically (next to Alaska) and in population (next to California). Texas occupies a unique place in U.S. history and lore, and it deserves its own history carnival.

Getting this one off the ground has not been a cakewalk, however, not by any stretch. Inspired by other state historians’ efforts, particularly those of Georgia (thank you, David), I have been unhappily surprised by a dearth of self-nominated entries by Texas historians. I am hopeful this is a momentary hiccough, and that Texas historians will step across this particularly line in the sand to expose their unique writings about their unique state. (And thank you, too, Clio Bluestocking, and ElementaryHistoryTeacher, whose contributions are noted below.)

Still, there is plenty to see. So let’s get to it.

The bluebonnets bloom along Interstate Highway 20, which stretches across Texas from Louisiana to an intersection with Interstate 10 a hundred miles or so east of El Paso. They probably started blooming two weeks ago farther south, but this is the season of Texas wildflowers, which will run in full glory well into June in most of the state. The photo at the top of this post shows bluebonnets (Lupinis texensis) from Ft. Worth, in an Army Corps of Engineers tract. More photos of Texas wildflowers come to us from an Austin gardener who blogs about “Hill Country Wildflowers” at Digging. The drought hampered blooms in 2006; rains in 2007 helped much of the state’s wildflowers, though we’re still underwatered.

Texas wildflowers used to be mowed down by highway maintenance crews. First Lady Ladybird Johnson took on a campaign to protect and promote wildflowers during her husband’s presidency, however, and now Texas and many other states actively promote wildflowers. Texas A&M University and other institutions support and promote wildflower planting, and the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center resides near Austin, leading research and promotion of wildflowers worldwide.

North Dakota poet Mark Phillips writes about that West Texas plague, tumbleweeds (Salsola kali), in his poem, “Rootless!”. I defy you to say this isn’t Texas. [I also defy you to make that link work to get to that poem; here, try this link.]

Spring stirs the wild animals of Texas, too — including skunks. The Nature Writers of Texas tell us about skunk romance.

Hey, where’s the history? Start here: Georgians are so fired up not to be outdone by a Texas history carnival, that they even swipe Texas history to blog about! Elementaryhistoryteacher explains Georgia’s contributions to the Texas Revolution, at Georgia On My Mind. See her exposition of “A Few Good Men.” And then note her follow-up, explaining one more Texas debt to Georgia, “A Georgian Gave the Lone Star to Texas.”

“Honoring Texas History Is Nothing To Be Ashamed Of,” at DallasBlog — a contribution from Texas’ 27th Land Commissioner, Jerry Patterson. Don’t stop there — go to Patterson’s agency’s site, and notice the dozens of historic Texas maps available for sale — at least one specific to your Texas town or county: General Land Office (GLO) maps.

Texas is proud of being big, different, and Texas. Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub earlier discussed the Texas Pledge to the Texas flag — mainly a political blog, A Capitol Annex warns us all, “Don’t Mess With the Texas Pledge.” Texas homeschooler Sprittibee informs us of “Six Flags and Texas snobbery.

Word didn’t get out to some of us of the educator persuasion, but March was Texas History Month. Abilene Reporter-News columnist Glenn Dromgoole gave quick reviews of recent books about Texas history.

The Top Shelf, a blog by a Texas school district’s director of library services, gives a substantial list of on-line Texas history resources selected by Michelle Davidson Ungarait at the Texas Education Agency, in “March is Texas History Month.”

Mug Shots features a coffee mug created for Texas’ sesquicentennial in 1986, featuring historic comic strips relating Texas history. Whew! A lot of commemorating there — one post of several commemorating Texas History Month. Texas Sesquicentennial Mug, from Mug Shots

This is Texas Music says farewell to the band Cooder Graw, who called it quits early this year. It’s a short post, with doorways to a lot more about music. Texas music is an enormous topic, much bigger than most people appreciate. Just how deep? Consider this tribute piece, and alert to a new CD from, Texas musician Joe Ely, from Nikkeiview, by Gil Asakawa. Texas’ diversity in influences, perspectives and admirers fairly drips from that one.

While Texas officially celebrates diversity in music, in other arts, and in business, diversity is not greatly celebrated in all corners of Texas, nor is it accurate that diversity was always celebrated. Texas history recounts many cases where disputes were chiefly between people of different ethnic or racial groups. How should that history be handled in classrooms, in boardrooms, and in government? An interview with an author raises that question, and offers resources for study, at the History News Network, in an article by Rick Schenkman:

Elliot Jaspin, a winner of the Pulitzer Prize (1979), is the author of the just-published book, Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America (Basic Books), the March HNN Book of the Month.

Serious thought is given also to the divide between religious and secular in America, using our Hollywood view of Texas as a jumping off point and traipsing through the misconceptions about the trial of John T. Scopes (who lived much of his post-trial life as a petroleum geologist in Houston, Texas), at Adventus, “Return to Never Was.”

Another Texas-flavored mug from Mug Shots.

History is politics, and politics is history, in some parts of Texas all of the time, and in all of Texas part of the time. Do you remember the Digger Barnes character in the old “Dallas” television series? He was fiction. The fictional Digger Barnes can hold no candle to the real Ben Barnes, however, and the political blog, Burnt Orange Report, carried a two-part series (Part I, Part II) explaining the importance of Barnes and covering much of his history, starting in February. Another Texas political blog, Rick Perry vs. the World, interviewed Barnes — part I, here.

Kay Bell at Don’t Mess With Taxes reprints a letter from Bum Phillips about what it means to be from Texas, and in Texas. [Catch the subtle pun on a common Texas slogan? I didn’t, at first . . .)

Texas is rich in science and natural history. Monkeys In the News notes the recent description of ancient primates, near Laredo. (Thanks to Dear Kitty for that one.)

Texas is rich in food, too. Hey, I have to get one of my own posts in here, don’t I? 2007 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the dairy processor in Brenham, Texas, that produces Bluebell Ice Cream, among the best ice creams in the world. You can read it here, “Blue Bell Ice Cream, a tastier part of Texas History.”

If you don’t want ice cream? As Davy Crockett told Tennessee, you may just go to hell — I’m going to Texas. Any fan of ice cream would say the same.A mug from the Bob Bullock Museum, with a famous Davy Crockett quote.

A parting shot, from Mug Shots.

The gates are open for submissions to the next Fiesta de Tejas! scheduled for May 2, 2007. You may e-mail entries to me at edarrell AT sbcglobal DOT net, or take advantage of the Blog Carnival listing, which will create a back-up copy of your entry for us. We need a logo, something appropriate to Texas. Also, if you would like to host a future session of the Fiesta, please drop me a note. These things work better with different eyes and ears working on them from time to time.

If you found something of value here, let me know in comments. And then, spread the word that the carnival is up and running. Yeeeeee haaawwww!

More state flag pledges: Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Virginia

February 21, 2007

Mississippi state flag

I think these are the last five of the states to have official state pledges for their state flags. If I have missed any, please let me know.

Mississippi, from Wikipedia:

The pledge to the state flag (from Miss. Code Ann., Section 37-13-7(1972)) is:

“I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God.”

New Mexico Flag, image from Gov. RichardsonNew Mexico:

“I salute the flag of the State of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.”

Oklahoma flag


I salute the flag of the State of Oklahoma. Its symbols of peace unite all people.

House Concurrent Resolution No. 1034 was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives on April 22, by the Senate on May 18, and filed with the Secretary of State on May 19, 1982.

South Dakota:

South Dakota state flag, after 1992I pledge loyalty and support to the flag and State of South Dakota, land of sunshine, land of infinite variety.



Virginia state flag

In 1954, the General Assembly adopted an official salute to the flag of Virginia which states:

“I salute the flag of Virginia, with reverence and patriotic devotion to the ‘Mother of States and Statesmen,’ which it represents—the ‘Old Dominion,’ where liberty and independence were born.”

See other related posts:

Song for the Alaska flag

January 12, 2007

Still looking for a comprehensive — and accurate — list of states that have official pledges. The search is occasionally illuminating (as are all genuine quests for knowledge).

For example, I knew Alaska’s flag was designed by a student, Benny Benson. I had not realized that it was adopted in the Coolidge administration, though, and not much closer to statehood in 1959.

More, Alaska has a song to its flag. I suspect the song is sung less often than Texas’s pledge is made (well, Texas requires school kids to say the pledge every day). But it’s a bit more poetic, isn’t it?

Alaska flag, Wikimedia, by Dave Johnson

Alaska’s song to the flag is below the fold. A link to an MP3 recording of the song is available here. Read the rest of this entry »

State flag pledges, present and accounted for

January 10, 2007

I am guilty. I made a bit of an assumption that state flag pledges are rare. There were none in Idaho, or Utah, where I attended public schools. Maryland made no fuss about one while we were there. In most conversations when the issue of a state pledge comes up, people tell their shock at discovering there was such a thing for Texas, and that Texans actually say it from time to time.

Only Georgia bothered to send in correcting information.

But a search of Google finally managed to strike something, having got just the right combination of terms. Below the fold are the state flag pledges for Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio and South Dakota. I note that the years of adoption are recent — some sort of competition between state legislatures with too little to do? — which leads me to suspect that there may be more state pledges out there, but they are just showing up in the civics and history books.

How many more state pledges are out there? Got something to add? Read the rest of this entry »

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