<center>Pledging Allegiance to the Wrong Flag</center>

A message given by Rev. David Beckmann at the November, 1998 meeting of the Northwest Georgia Chapter of the League of the South.

At the 1998 annual state meeting of the Georgia League of the South, League president Dr. Michael Hill told the audience that Southerners should not swear allegiance to, what he called, the flag of the American Empire. He is not alone in his sympathies. Increasingly across the South, people are beginning to refrain from the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. This is, of course, causing much consternation on the part of many people.

It is commonly considered unpatriotic for an American citizen to refuse to say the pledge. Why do they say this? Firstly, the pledge is associated with a lot of cultural things associated with America, such as ball games and civic events. Secondly, the flag itself is associated with a particular view of American history and a lot of sentiment has been attached to the flag because of what it has been thought to stand for in the past. Then, there are those who have sentimental attachment to the flag because of its association with great endeavours we as a nation have undertaken, in delivering ourselves from the attacks and threats of domination from the Nazi and Japanese empires, our past fight against communism, and our nationís space program. In light of all this, it is quite understandable how people would consider the pledge as an act of patriotism and its omission as unpatriotic. Indeed, I myself have pledged allegiance to the Stars and Stripes for these very same things.

Our Southern fathers, before the War Between the States, themselves had much sentimental attachment to the Stars and Stripes. This is evident in the debate that took place in the Confederate congress regarding the kind of flag the CSA would have for its national flag. Some made the statement that we ought to keep the Stars and Stripes because it was our flag in the first place and let the yankees find another one. It was Southerners who had for the most part championed the founding of our nation. It was Southerners who had hammered out our Constitution and lead the defeat of the British in both the War for Independence and the War of 1812. It was the flag under which some of the Confederate legislators themselves had fought for the interests of their country. And yet, in spite of this sentiment, the South said farewell to the Stars and Stripes. In fact, the South lost all affection for the striped banner.

President Davis spoke of this change of affection for the flag in a speech he gave to the U.S. Senate before his State, viz. Mississippi, seceded from the Union. He said:

It may be pardoned me, sir, who, in my boyhood, was given to the military service, and who have followed, under tropical suns and over northern snows, the flag of the Union, if I here express the deep sorrow which always overwhelms me when I think of taking a last leave of that object of early affection and proud association; feeling that henceforth it is not to be the banner which, by day and by night, I was ready to follow; to hail with the rising and bless with the setting sun. But God, who knows the hearts of men, will judge between you and us, at whose door lies the responsibility. Men will see the efforts made, here and elsewhere; that we have been silent when words would not avail, and have curbed an impatient temper, and hoped that conciliatory counsels might do that which could not be effected by harsh means. And yet, the only response which has come from the other side has been a stolid indifference, as though it mattered not: "Let the temple fall, we do not care!" Sirs, remember that such conduct is offensive and that men may become indifferent even to the objects of their early attachments.

In this portion of his speech, Davis referred to the painful situation he was in. No longer did the government in Washington represent for him an agent for liberty and government by law, but rather that of disrespect for the historic union. Because of his colleagues refusal to take action to stem the tide of secession, they were behaving in a manner that was a betrayal of the union. It was precisely because Davis was a patriotic man, loyal to the true principles of the union for which the U.S. banner had stood for so long, that he found himself in a position where he was being forced to face the prospect of saying farewell to the government in Washington and consequently the flag which represented that government. Indeed, he plainly expresses the fact that the ills in Washington could become so bad, that, with his personal allegiance to true constitutional liberty, he would not only officially no longer claim the Stars and Stripes as representative of his allegiance but would lose all the previous affection he had held for it.

What our beloved president experienced in his day, we Southerners are experiencing in our day. Indeed, people all over our country are feeling the same way. The Stars and Stripes, while officially standing for "the land of the free and the home of the brave," has come to actually stand for the land of the Washington careerists and the home of the couch potatoes. It stands for Bill Clinton. It stands for the IRS and the BATF and other unconstitutional entities. It stands for an income tax that is unconstitutional and in far more violation of our God-given rights than was ever any tax on tea by King George. It stands for the National Education Association. It stands for the National Endowment of the Arts. It stands for a Supreme Court that calls good evil and evil good. It stands for elected representatives who make their decisions based upon their own pocket books and dubious public polls. The flag stands for the American Empire. People all across this land could say, as President Davis said, Sirs, remember that such conduct is offensive and that men may become indifferent even to the objects of their early attachments.

There is, however, another reason why Dr. Hill said that we should not pledge allegiance to the flag of the American Empire. That is because of the meaning of the pledge itself, of which most in the U.S. are wholly ignorant. The pledge was composed by a gentleman named Francis Bellamy. It was first published in 1892. At that time, Bellamy was the chairman of the National Educators Association. The man was a socialist. He also was a Jacobin. In an article in the 1988 Rochester Review, his widow was cited as stating that Bellamy had originally wanted his pledge to include the phrase: "with liberty, equality, and fraternity for all." That phrase was the slogan of the French Revolution, leaving out the portion about death for those who would not go along with these ideals. It was Bellamyís wish to use the public school system to indoctrinate the people of the U.S. in his views. He planned for the use of a pledge to the flag of the Union in the public schools that would impress on the people the idea that the U.S. was an indivisible nation and thus could be centralised and moved toward socialist and Jacobin objectives.

Now, the fact that the pledge had socialist and Jacobin origins is bad enough. But the very fact that it states the proposition that the Union is indivisible makes it thoroughly objectionable to anyone who understands the nature of the Union as it was originally constructed and as we Southerners have always understood it and valued it. The idea of an indivisible union is the yankee ideal of our nation and has never been the Southern ideal. The yankee ideal is based upon what they have wanted the Constitution to mean; the Southern ideal is based upon what the Constitution really did mean. In fact, everyone in the nation knew the country was divisible. It was only after the radical republicans took over the North and then the South through military invasion and "reconstruction" that Americans forgot this salient truth.

Many of us are discouraged about saying the pledge of allegiance in light of what the flag has come to mean in our lifetimes (by the way, the phrase, "under God" was added in 1954 - the pledge is not that old!). But for those of us who have been unreconstructed, who have been delivered from the lying myths of the yankee view of American history, and for those of us who are born and bred Southerners, in whose bodies courses the blood of Confederate veterans, we must not say the pledge. For one thing, it is illogical. We know that the U.S. is divisible. To pledge allegiance to a flag that stands for an indivisible nation is contradictory. We certainly cannot pledge any allegiance or even salute the Confederate flag and say the pledge at the same time, because the flags stand for two separate things: a yankee centralised empire vs.. the constitutional republic of the founding fathers. But it is also just plain immoral to pledge allegiance to the Stars and Stripes, because we are thus making a public statement that says that the South was wrong. We are saying everything the yankees say about the South is true. We are saying the nation is indivisible and therefore Georgia did not lawfully secede. We are saying our families suffered for the wrong cause. We are saying that we and our children should continue to be loyal to the government of Washington, D.C., no matter how evil or unconstitutional it becomes. This act no informed and loyal Southerner can perform.

Refusing to say the pledge is not rebellion against the government of the United States. It is rather a personal act of integrity. It is indeed unpatriotic to the yankee ideal of government, but it is patriotic to the Southern ideal of government. It is an act of patriotism to what the United States was originally. It is an act of patriotism to that land which existed when Francis Scott Key wrote his poem. It is an act of patriotism to that land that our Southern fathers loved before the yankee revolution in 1860. Refusal to say the pledge is taking a stand for what the South has been, ought to be, and, by Godís grace, will be again.