Minnesota Flag Hubbub

This is almost old news by now, But It’s new to *me* — so I’m going to share. A law recently went into effect in Minnesota requiring: “All public and charter school students shall recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America one or more times each week.” Now first of all, why only once a week? I mean, why not every morning? But I digress — it seems that when passing this law, the state legislature didn’t consider that many of the urban schools didn’t own flags, and didn’t have the money to buy them, so kids are now saying the pledge to a flag graphic shown on the classroom TVs. That’s right, they can’t afford a $0.95 Flag in each class, but they all have TVs.

Now things are getting even more interesting. A High School student in St. Paul was kicked out of class twice by the same teacher “…for exercising her right not to stand, or participate in any manner in the activity.” Even after her school principle acknowledged “…that the law included an “Opt out” provision which meant that she did not have to stand or recite the pledge.”

Way to go Minnesota school system, way to be on the ball about this whole flag thing.

4 Responses to “Minnesota Flag Hubbub”

  1. ymatt Says:

    Once in high school a friend of mine refused to stand for the pledge when a substitute teacher happened to be there during that first class of the day. The teacher in question blew up at him saying how he didn’t serve in Viet Nam so he could sit there during the pledge etc. My friend then calmly told him that he was a British citizen (which he was). Ah, what a moment.

    I seem to remember there being a lengthy discussion about the pledge here in lies at some point back when that California court ruled that it was illegal (what happened to that anyway?), but I’ll say again that the pledge is creepy. I _don’t_ pledge allegiance to the flag. I might pledge allegiance to America, or more appropriately the Constitution, but the flag? [shiver] And that’s putting aside the asinine “under God” part.

  2. mmr Says:

    ymatt wrote: (what happened to that anyway?),

    As far as I know the full 9th circuit refused to overturn or even hear arguments to overturn the 3-judge ruling. It’s now heading for the Supreme court. I seem to recall Newdow (the one who successfully brought and argued the case on CA) was being given permission to argue the case in front of the supreme court.

    On a personal note, I don’t pledge allegiance to the flag either. The “under God thing” annoys the hell out of me, and why are we pledging allegiance to a *flag* anyway? Ymatt touched on those points nicely.

    However, to be a devil’s advocate if the Supreme court does hear the case and supports the lower court ruling I will bet a lot of money we’ll see a “Flag” ammedment to the constitution within two years. And with all the politicians and people who wrap themselves in the flag with one hand and wave a Bible in the other it will pass into law in record time.

    So…although I support Newdow and the lower court hands down I almost hope it gets shot down at the Supreme Court level. *sigh* why does everything always have to be complicated (rhetorical question).

  3. onan Says:

    The thing I find creepy about the pledge of allegiance is not the flag-versus-nation-versus-constitution thing, but the premise of teaching children to make a supposedly life-binding pledge before they can properly understand it. Do teachers sit down and explain the meaning and remifications of this pledge to children, and allow them to decide whether they want to make it? If not, how is this expected to be a meaningful pledge?

  4. mmr Says:

    correction on my earlier post (if anyone’s interested):

    the 3-judge panel ruled “under God” unconstituional across the board.

    The full 9th circuit court watered this down to only apply to public schools.

    Newdow has appealed the full circuit court’s decision to the Supreme Court (he wants the lower court’s ruling upheld).

    The Sacramento school district, with blessings from Ashcroft and co., are appealing (great use of tax money there eh?).

    The Supreme court is expected to consider whether to hear the appeals during a closed door session on Sep 29. It could turn back the appeals, thereby letting stand the 9th circuit court ruling stand. This applies to about 10 western states.

    It could overturn the 9th circuit decision (as the school and oxymoron departemnt want), or it could accept the case.

    Oh yes, and Newdow as filed a brief with the supreme court asking Scalia to recuse himself (never happen).

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