Thursday, July 3, 2008

A new Pledge

By Ed Smallwood

Here we are on the eve of Independence Day. I promised earlier this year to be more topical, and oddly, I found this one holiday easy to come up with an opinion over.

This is the time of year that we all show off our patriotism. We wave flags, we set off fireworks, we have concerts and barbeques. But how often do we think of the document that matters most to our country?

Yes, the Constitution. It’s not as old as the country itself or the flag, but it’s the document that defines our country. That has to be at least as important as the flag. I mean, without the Constitution, there would be no Republic for the flag to stand for.

So, why do we pledge allegiance to the Flag but not to the Constitution? No, I’m not against the Pledge of Allegiance; I’m just wondering why we don’t pledge to uphold and protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

Honestly, I would feel much better about the education my children are getting if they had to pledge to uphold the Constitution on a regular basis. This would give their teachers a good opportunity to bring up the rights and limits afforded by the Constitution, and hopefully, improve their civics education well over that afforded to myself at their age. And honestly, isn’t that what we all want? A better education for our children than we ourselves got?

How do we get something like this started? Personally, I believe that it should be started at the school district level and then carried up to the State level. If Congress wants to get involved and standardize the pledges being used, that would be fine, but not absolutely necessary.

Really, this seems so obvious to me that I don’t understand why it hasn’t been in place for the last two-hundred years. Am I the only one that thinks this way?

If someone knows of a pledge already written, or would like to write one that would be appropriate for all age levels, I would love to hear about it.

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