Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Pledge to the Flag - Honoring Our Freedom

News alert!  I have addresses of deployed service members!  If you'd like to be a pen pal with an individual or support a unit, please contact me at

And for today's blog .....

Marines raising Old Glory on Iwo Jima
Photo by Joe Rosenthal

On September 8, 1892, Francis Bellamy published the Pledge of Allegiance in the Youth's Companion.

In 1923, the words, "of the United States of America" were added.

In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words "under God," creating the 31-word pledge we say today.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the republic for which it stands,
one nation, under God,
with liberty and justice for all.

The original Bellamy salute began with a military salute, and after reciting the words "to the flag," the arm was extended toward the flag.

In World War II, the Bellamy salute resembled the Nazi salute, so it was changed to keep the right hand over the heart throughout the pledge.

Most schools offer children the opportunity to recite it in the morning, but do not require the pledge.

And that's the beauty of our democracy - you have a choice. 

Today my son is turning in a Social Studies project about the Bill of Rights.  The project gave us an opportunity to learn together - when was the last time you read the Bill of Rights? 

As we researched court cases for the first ten amendments, we were sometimes exasperated by the "unpatriotic actions" of free speech, including flag desecration.  In one example, the infamous Westboro Church burned a flag while protesting outside a soldier's funeral.  As a military family, this is a tough issue to discuss.  But as I shared with my son, the flag is a symbol.  It leads our troops in battle to defend our freedom.  It rallies communities as we celebrate our democracy.  But it is just a symbol.  A burning flag is a sad sight but it does not take away our freedom.  It only reinforces it.

It is also sad that the Westboro Church has so much hate in their hearts to protest near the funerals of fallen soliders.  But America mourns with the soldiers' families - one nation under God.  We stand behind them as they are presented with a folded flag that draped their loved one's casket - indivisible.  A flag that symbolizes the freedom we will never give up to hate - liberty and justice for all.  

To celebrate the freedom that our flag represents, I an giving away flag ornaments donated by the USO.  In turn, I ask all SOS readers to consider how you can support the USO,  The USO is more than airport lounges.  It is a network of outreach centers to comfort military personnel and their families until "everyone comes home."   I volunteered with the USO Outreach Center at Fort Meade and I've enjoyed their concerts here at Hickam AFB.  I know first hand the USO makes a difference.

To receive a flag,

1.  Leave a comment about Old Glory.

2.  Send your mailing address to

3.  The next time you see a flag, think of the military personnel around the world who defend the democracy that it represents.

Please join me on Friday, September 10, as we remember 9/11.  My blog will also be posted on:
- Romance Roll Call,
- Romantic Times' Daily Blog,

Kim in Hawaii

Marines raising Old Glory in Iraq



  1. Fantastic post! Every time I see old glory flying high I think of those who fight/faught for our freedom both past and present.

    I taught my children to stand when veterans pass during a parade and am proud to say that as teenagers, they're usually the first ones on their feet.

  2. One of my post treasured possessions is a flag that flew over the Capitol. My family got it as a gift from a neighbor when we became citizens. To me it represents our wonderful Nation and the many gifts it offers to all who come here. I also thank the military men, women and families who give so much so that we can have our Liberty and Freedom in this country. God Bless them.

  3. Wonderful post. My husband and I have always flown the flag. I have a flag in a case that was flown in Iraq that was sent to us by a unit that I was sending goodie boxes to. It is one of our prized possession.

  4. we have always flown a flag in our yard . we have friend serving in Iraq and hubs says its a reminder for them to find their way home by.

  5. What a thought provoking and amazing post - again Kim.

    You and I have had numerous discussions about this topic and I absolutely believe each of us does have the right to freedom of speech but at times I think the credo should be think it but don't say. Every thought rattling around in our head does not need to come out of your mouth especially those negative ones we are all too fond of expressing and don't forget if I disagree with you I also have that right.

    What I want the Westboro Church and its 20 members to remember is God loves every one of his children and I think the human race needs to practice what we so loudly like to preach.

  6. Mary, I'd love it if the human race figured it out too! But then I'd have nothing to write about :)

    We fly a Canadian flag in front of our house, but we're one of the few families that does (and to be honest, we only started that during the winter Olympics here in Vancouver). We Canucks aren't known for our patriotic furor, but I think most of our citizens are still proud of their country. In a quiet way :)

  7. When I was a scout leader one of the few times that I can remember the boys being serious was when they were being taught how to present the flag. A few of those boys have gone on to join the armed forces. When I think of them I think of their little faces from scouts not the grown men they are today.

  8. Wow, I'm embarassed to say I didn't know the origins of the Pledge of Allegiance. Now I've got a bit of knowledge.