Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

June 19, 2006

When did they stop?

by Chris Byrne

When I was a kid, and that isn’t exactly a geological age ago; there was a U.S. Flag in every single classrom. Most were on angled jackstaffs flying on the wall next to the P.A. speaker, over the chlakboard, or maybe over the main door.

This didnt warrant notice, any more than desks or chalkboards would.

A bill has just been introduced in the Arizona state house to require that all educational institutions that recieve public funding display the flag in every classroom. Current regulations (as pursuant to U.S. Flag code) only state that a flag must be flown somewhere on campus while school is in session.

My question is, when did they change? When and why did they stop?

The ed-stablishment is complaining that they don’t have the budget, and that they don’t have the personell trained in U.S. Flag code, to do so.

You have got to be kidding me.

Every day at my school, the teacher or the custodian would go around at night and roll the flags up on their jackstaffs. I (or my wife) do it every night to OUR flag. It’s not all that hard. Not only that, but if a flag is permanently mounted, it is acceptable to leave that flag flying at all times, so long as that flag is “properly illuminated” or so long as that flag is indoors.

The flag code is not difficult. Here’s a well illustrated guide, and the annotated code.

Not only that, but I guarantee you they could ask for and recieve enough donations for a proper flag in every classroom in a heartbeat. A decent small indoor flag, U.S. made, only costs about $20. Even a beautiful embroidered presentation flag is only about $100 for a small classroom size model.

Even better to my mind, an ammendment has been added to the bill that would require the concurrent display of the constitution, bill of rights and other ammendments, and declaration of independence as well.

Again, the ed-stablishment says they don’t have the budget; but I ask why isn’t this done alreayd/ Why hasnt this ALWAYS been done? When I was a kid every general ed classrom and history classroom had all of the above prominently displayed.

And still they protest?

No, I believe they are unwilling, because they do not beleive in our nation, our greatness, our exceptional position in this world as the true bastion of freedom and liberty (however it may now be compromised); and they do not wish to be associated with our symbol.

If this legislation passes, and is funded or volunteers fund it; I can assure you the ed-stablishment will find some other excuse to refuse to display our flag. I can guarnatee you that there will be protests by hispanic and native American groups. I guarantee you there will be teachers who refuse to display the flag in their classrooms, or who refuse to teach or assemble in a room where the flag is displayed.

They do this because they are the enemies of our country, and of our children; no more, no less.

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  • VRB

    I think you are completely wrong. If the PTA or Home and School association would purchase them, no problem. If some outside group insisted that there had to be a flag in every classroom and there were other needs like having enough chalk, books, or copy paper, there might be some resistance. Having a flag does not breed a patriot; learning civics, history and traditions does.

    I just don’t know why native Americans don’t love us. Some people have much longer memories than others.

  • http://www.atlasblogged.com Wulf

    when did they change? When and why did they stop?

    I would guess that they didn’t actually change. I would guess that Arizona never codified it before, one way or the other.

    I am not guessing when I say that both the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Standards of Learning make it clear that the flag is to be flown in every classroom, and every day is to be started with the Pledge of Allegiance. And I have never known a teacher to protest this or disrespect the flag – even the most politically extreme teachers.

    There are a lot of problems with the education system in this nation, but I think you are overstating the treasonous attitudes of America’s educators. Just a little. For every anti-flag nutcase you can find, I expect there are a thousand or more who are proudly patriotic.

  • John Newman

    This is an opinion piece I sent to my local newspaper a few years back. It has to do with the “Pledge and the flag.

    The Pledge: Nationalism or Patriotism and do we really need it

    The “under God” part of the Pledge of Allegiance has been in the news recently because of the lawsuit filed by some atheist dude in California. Where else. But hey, this is America, he can be an atheist if he wants. Who cares?

    But let’s give the guy credit. He got people talking about something other than Friends, Survivor, Enron or whatever. Yep, talkin, but not much thinkin.

    The jaw-jaw folks taking positions, in the name of patriotism, failed to realize that the Pledge is not a patriotic oath, but simply a tool to inculcate nationalism into schoolchildren. Reciting the Pledge is no more patriotic than Americans chanting U-S-A! U-S-A! at the World Cup. It is nationalism, not patriotism. The words are not synonymous.

    “Bull,” you say. “Traitor,” you say. “Un-American,” you say.

    “Listen,” I say.

    In 1892, a guy named Francis Bellamy, who worked for a popular magazine called “The Youth’s Companion,” wrote the Pledge. He wrote it for a flag ceremony which was part of a national campaign called “The National Public School Celebration.” To gain maximum exposure for the celebration of public schools, Francis and “The Youth Companion” hooked up with another major event happening that year, the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of America. So on October 12, 1892, pupils around the nation saluted and recited the “pledge” in their classrooms. Sounds reasonable, but…

    Here’s the deal. Before Francis went to work for “The Youth’s Companion,” he had been a Baptist minister. But Francis got booted out of the church. Seems our “Pledge” writer was an avowed socialist. Instead of trying to save souls from the pulpit, he was extolling the virtues(?) of socialism. You know, Marxist, Fabian, Hegelian, and all that kind of anti-capitalist stuff.

    Francis’s “Pledge” and the National Public School Celebration were, in reality, a convoluted collaboration between socialist societies, the National Education Association, big business, and politicians. It was designed to “exalt” public “free” schools, turn the “pledge” into a daily “ritual,” increase the socialist influence of the NEA on local school boards, get the progressive/socialist politicians of the day re-elected and sell flags.

    It worked. In 1898 only 16 states had compulsory (enforced/coerced) schooling. Today: 50. The “pledge” became a daily ritual almost immediately after October 1892. Socialist ideas increasingly fill your kid’s textbooks. In the current Congress there are 59 members of the Progressive (socialist) Caucus.

    And about those flags. This is classic. Once the “pledge” became a ritual, the schools would need flags. Guess who was selling the flags in 1892? “The Youth’s Companion.” Pretty clever, eh? You’ve heard of a “chicken in every pot?” This was “a flag in every school class room.”

    As Americans of every stripe argue about “under God” and reciting the Pledge in the classroom, invoking the name of Jefferson, the separation of church and state, and the First Amendment, there is a bigger question.

    Would the founders have even approved of a “pledge” to a symbol? Especially a pledge written by a socialist intending to sell flags and to advance a socialist agenda.

    Can you imagine Jefferson writing, “ I pledge allegiance to the White House… …Congress…the Boston Tea Party…the Liberty Bell.

    OK, tar and feather me. But, imagine Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin debating the issue with O’reilly, Donahue, Matthews, or any of the other “geniuses” on the boob tube. My money is on Tom and Ben against such a “pledge.”

    For those who need a “pledge,” try this. “I pledge allegiance to the united States of America and to the Republic which still stands, one nation, under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

    The USG and its policies have besmirched, soiled, stained the flag beyond recognition. Now, we have soldiers pissing on the thing and idiots at home wrapping themselves in the defecated symbol.

    Instead of worrying about some bogus symbol maybe we ought to concentrate on instilling in our children the principles of freedom and liberty paid for with the blood of those who chose freedom over tyranny.

  • http://anarchangel.blogspot.com Chris

    Thank you for the straw men gentlemen, and of course assuming you know my opinion on other subjects. Just as an aside, I believe that the pledge of allegiance is silly, and no one should be compelled to say it. Honor coerced is no honor.

    I am not making a point about patriotism or nationalism; though even if it were, why would that be wrong?

    Those who deride patriotism are to my mind morally degenerate. Jingoism is one thing, and must be avoided at great cost, but genuine patriotism is a supreme virtue.

    At some point all classrooms had flags; at some later point school administrators decided to NO LONGER DISPLAY THE FLAG.

    There was a conscious decision to do so. No meaningful money was saved; it was done as a political statement. That statement is explicitly anti-american.

    Now as to you purist libertarians who believe that patriotism is a delusion of the slave, you are fools. I am normally a civil man, but yes, my country means something to me. If it means nothing to you, then I have no respect or consideration for you.

    As to the funding issue, and the creation of new laws; you all know my opinions. I believe that more laws are almost always bad things, and that we should have no public education in the first place; but since we do have public education, everyone recieving that benefit should damn well be reminded who pays for it.

    It is not collectivism to say that WE ARE ALL THE NATION. The nation is the people; the flag is OUR symbol not the symbol of some disembodied entity. We paid for that education, and all who recieve it should be grateful, and know who to be grateful to.

  • http://www.atlasblogged.com Wulf

    At some point all classrooms had flags; at some later point school administrators decided to NO LONGER DISPLAY THE FLAG.

    “School administrators” is a convenient way to say “I don’t know”. But you have already admitted that you don’t know the origin of this – in fact, you haven’t shown that there is a single classroom in the country without a flag. I am sure there are some, but if you can’t tell me how many, and you don’t know for sure how that percentage has changed over the last couple of generations, and the very title of your post indicates that you don’t know when the flaglessness may have begun, then it seems more than a little hyperbolic to blame the entire evil unAmerican ed-stablishment for hiding the flags.

    I would like to know the whole story. I have seen that Arizona does not require the Pledge, but I haven’t seen anything that implies that there are not flags in every classroom in grade schools. The bill actually seems to be aimed at college classrooms, where flags are less prevalent. It also The new bill also requires the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence to be posted in every classroom. I’m not sure that is really necessary in every classroom… perhaps if we made sure students understood these documents when presented in social studies, then we wouldn’t have to worry about whether they are physically (read: symbolically) present in the chorus room and chemistry lab.

  • http://www.atlasblogged.com Wulf

    I did find an article that is humorous in its transparent hatred for the state lawmaker who introduced the bill, however. Apparently he doesn’t fly a flag at his home, and some reporter thought that hypocritical:
    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0612ruelas0612.html

  • http://kponly.blogspot.com Ryan

    You know, if we’re going to say it’s ok (albeit stupid and disgusting) for people to burn flags, I think we can say it’s ok for people to choose not to fly a flag. It’s their choice, and even if we don’t agree with them, we cannot deny them their freedom of expression.

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