People are criticized for not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance, and are condemned as being disrespectful to those who have served and died in the armed forces.
But the Pledge of Allegiance is not made to those who have served in the military. It does not speak of reverence for men and women who have given their lives while believing that they were serving the genuine benefit of the rest of us.
The Pledge is a declaration of loyalty to the flag of “the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands”. It is a pledge of loyalty to the government. It is a pledge to have greater allegiance to whatever immoral decisions are made by that government than to justice or human beings themselves, in this country or elsewhere.
The notion of the Pledge being about respect for those who have served in the military is a tactic to conflate dissension with the government with a shameful parasitic lack of appreciation for people who have fought to defend their homeland.
People who become blindly caught up in this nationalist game ignore the distinction between those who have served the government military while believing it was necessary to defend those at home, and the actual reasons for which the government sent those men and women to fight. Few wars are entered – or created – for a noble purpose, and too often the result is places us in greater danger, not less.
So if we are to show respect for those who fought to keep us safe and protect our rights, then we must exercise those rights and we should not pledge our loyalty to a government that uses those men and women to engage in wars that are not about the defense of freedom which they believed they would be fighting for.