The Pledge of Allegiance: A Few Footnotes

I1 pledge2 allegiance3 to the Flag4 of the United5 States6 of America7, and to the Republic8 for which it stands9, one Nation10 under God11, indivisible12, with liberty13 and justice14 for all15.

  1. I, and everyone who holds the same beliefs as me, except for the people on Facebook I told to unfriend me because I don’t want to expose myself to different opinions,
  2. Pledge, swear, promise, vow, and commit myself entirely, sometimes in psychotic and terrifyingly irrational ways,
  3. Allegiance, to the point of either deciding that means that anyone who doesn’t live here and subscribe to the same belief system must be crushed under our collective heel until they swear fealty, or taking the extreme opposite that allegiance is what Hitler would have wanted, without having the wherewithal to understand that allegiance to a country is a good thing,
  4. To the Flag, but also to other symbols that I would like to have allegiance to, like political parties, “symbols” of heritage, the dollar bill, and anything else that I decide is representative, no matter how wrong I am, unless I want to be controversial by burning it, in which case, I’m doing the exact opposite of pledging allegiance,
  5. United, but only in the sense that I would rather spit invective at people who pledge allegiance to the same flag if they live differently, believe differently, or support different political parties than I do, which I realize means it’s not really united at all but I somehow take pride in that,
  6. States, except of course for any state that I deem too liberal or conservative, based solely on my political preferences and whatever I’m mindlessly sucking down from my preferred biased teat of “information”, and I wish those states would just secede from my country and become their own country, because I am an idiot with no understanding of what actually makes our country great and powerful,
  7. America, which can mean anything from bald eagles and guns to fields of grain to a melting pot of ideologies, religions, and philosophies that is welcoming to everyone of every creed, and can even mean other countries in the same continent, but I like to pretend we’re the only one that matters, and that the only people who are truly American are those who want to do exactly what I say and believe,
  8. To the Republic, which is to say, our government elected and chosen by the people who live here, except if it’s someone I didn’t vote for, because even though that person may still be the President, I’d rather try to destroy my own country instead of remembering the allegiance I promised to it, because I’m incapable of seeing a big picture,
  9. For which it stands, except for which times it stands for something that I don’t like, even though tolerance and freedom to be different is exactly and precisely what it stands for, so I’m hypocritical in every sense of the word,
  10. One Nation, except for the Muslims and the blacks and the hispanics and the rednecks and the conservatives and the liberals and the hippies and the women and the children and the Jews and the Catholics and the Christians and all of the other groups into which I have decided I would like to splinter my fellow Americans,
  11. Under God, but only my god and not your god and god forbid if you don’t believe in god or don’t know what you believe, and ignoring the fact that this phrase was slowly incorporated into the pledge until it was amended officially by Congress barely sixty years ago, and never mind that even if you are someone who believes something different, if I was a good believer, I’d still love you as is,
  12. Indivisible, and you’d think that maybe I would understand by now how much our country depends on us being one voice made up of every different race, religion, gender, creed, affirmation, and identity, because that’s the only way we can be truly great, but divisiveness, directly contrary to the spirit of my country, is all that I can support,
  13. Liberty, which I like to take to mean that I’m free to speak my mind, but others who say something opposing need to leave, and even though liberty is freedom from restrictions imposed by authority on one’s life, behavior, or political views, I don’t want people to be free to do what they want unless they’re my people,
  14. Justice, but pretending that justice isn’t blind like it’s supposed to be, so I can fail to comprehend that not everything is cut and dry, and that saying black lives matter doesn’t mean that other lives don’t, but also not all cops are thugs, and sometimes the biggest criminals are the people behind the people to whom we’re pledging our fealty,
  15. For All, but not really, just for the few I’ve decided are good enough to be considered American, even if that means that the diversity of ideas, philosophies, religions, and experiences that made America great goes away and I’m just left with the people with whom I agree, because I’m too stupid to understand that when that becomes the case, we’ll just all find more reasons to split into smaller and smaller groups, constantly looking at our differences rather than the things that should bring us together.

American Flag

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