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Patriot Games

earthquakeI pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America...

I pledge allegiance to the toaster-oven of the United States of America...

I pledge allegiance to the carpet underlayment of the United States of America....

I pledge allegiance to this small small bit of fluff I found in my belly button of the United States of America...

Why a flag?

America is the only country on Earth that has its citizens pledge their fealty to a banner. If you know anything at all about psychology you'll realize it's a fascist's dream come true, especially if you can force your entire pre-pubescent population to recite it over and over.

It may surprise you to learn that the Pledge of Allegiance wasn't the first words uttered by viking raiders who staggered off their boats along the northeast coast of this country around 1000 AD. The original, much shorter, version was created in 1892 by a socialist minister, Francis Bellamy, longing for the good old days of the Civil War, who only wanted to revive the spirit of patriotism in America's youth... and to sell flags. A LOT of flags. Which he did.

There was even a special salute for the flag (I am NOT making this up) called the Bellamy salute:

bellamy salute

The Pledge wasn't formally adopted by our government until 1942. You know, right in the middle of a world war that needed lots of Yankee soldiers to keep the Ploesti oil fields out of German hands and the oil reserves of Malaysia out of Japanese hands, etc.

Oh, and freedom.

1942 was also when the government officially, and wisely, shit-canned the Bellamy salute, opting for the more emotional "hand over heart" position. Personally, I think we'd be better off holding our head in our hands yelling "Ai-Yi-Yi-Yi-Yi!"

In 1954 our government crammed "under God" into the Pledge just to tinge it with enough ecclesiastic majesty to make those Rooskies think twice about who god preferred. Which, evidently, was the country with the most atomic weapons.


I honestly meant to do something a wee bit more artistic today but I spent the better part of Sunday helping a friend chainsaw the dead trees out of his south 40 and it sort of wrecked my favorite drawing hand. But I'll heal. You've been warned.


end rant

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Google Chow (Eat hearty, little Google-bots!)

Man: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which is stands, one nation, indivisible, under god, with liberty and justice for all.
Man: Now what?
Flag: Beats me. You're the one talking to a piece of cloth.
Man: I just got burned by a flag.
Flag: Yeah, I'm bad.
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