Friday, March 20, 2015

Flag flaps

Last week students at UC Irvine -- apparently a sort of subcommittee of student government -- sought to ban flags, including the Stars and Stripes, from the lobby of the student government offices. Predictably (this is Orange County after all) a lot of people went ballistic. Higher levels of student government, the university administration, and politicians galore condemned and reversed the initiative. The flag was never disturbed, anywhere on campus.

As of three days ago, the UC Irvine Chancellor was still trying to get the internet rage machine turned down. He wasn't much succeeding.

On Thursday, veterans gathered at the campus to stick up for their flag.

Meanwhile, at Pine Bush High School, sixty five miles northwest of New York City, some students and parents were up in arms over a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic.

“I think it should be spoken in English. This is America,” resident Joyce Larsen said.

The district said the school’s foreign language department arranged to have the pledge recited in different languages for National Foreign Language Week, which was last week.

Andrew Zink, the senior class president, usually gives the morning announcements and recites the pledge. He said he allowed an Arabic-speaking student to handle the pledge duties Wednesday.

“The intention was to promote the fact that those who speak a language other than English still pledge to salute this great country,” the district said in its statement.

“Had it been done in Spanish first or Japanese first, we wouldn’t be having this conversation today,” Principal Aaron Hopmayer told [CBS2’s Lou]Young.

... Some locals told Young they actually found the district’s apology [to anyone offended by the Arabic pledge] offensive.

“They wouldn’t have to apologize to me or my family for that,” New Windsor resident Patrick Brown said.

Probably the principal does know his community. Does he, or anyone at Pine Bush, know the origin of the Pledge?

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth's Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.

Bellamy's kind of pledge might be more to the liking of contemporary young people. The older siblings of these students aren't much on the flag-waving bandwagon according to polling assembled by the Christian Science Monitor.

Just 32 percent of Millennials say US is "the greatest country in the world," compared with 48 percent of Gen Xers, 50 percent of Baby Boomers, and 64 percent of the Silent Generation, according to Pew. Likewise, Millennials are most likely to say America is not the greatest country in the world. ...

American National Election Study found that 45 percent of Millennials say the American identity is extremely important, compared with 60 percent for Generation Xers, 70 percent for Baby Boomers, and 78 percent for Silents.

Only 67 percent of Millennials said flying the US flag made them feel very or extremely good, compared with 94 percent of Silents, according to ANES.

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

I am old enough to remember saying the Pledge before the 'under god' was added. Truthfully, when you say words over and over, you don't think about their meaning-- which is why Jesus said it's a bad way to pray...

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