Devotion to and love of flag and country is now considered hateful.
At least that was the message given by Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees President Robert Miller when, according to a report by Campus Reform, he sent an email calling the Pledge of Allegiance “steeped in expressions of nativism and white nationalism” after the board announced it would stop saying it before meetings.
While a seemingly small matter at a small school in California, it is emblematic of a larger debate that rages in America today.
In a public comment by at the board of trustees’ Jan. 24 meeting, Celeste Barber, a proponent of keeping the pledge, was interrupted and shouted at by protesters while making her case.
In the video of the meeting, one can hear the protesters shout things like “racist” and “slavery” while she defends the pledge.
The school later announced on Facebook that it would restore the Pledge of Allegiance for the time being until “a future date when the matter can be considered by the board.”
The Daily Signal sought comment from Santa Barbara City College and was directed to a Facebook post about the pledge’s reinstatement.
The Pledge of Allegiance itself has a long and complicated history. The modern pledge is attributed to Francis Bellamy, a Christian socialist who wrote it in 1892 for a celebration of the 400-year anniversary of the voyage of Christopher Columbus.
Congress added the words “under God” in 1952, after a public campaign from the Knights of Columbus.
But the Pledge of Allegiance actually has an older antecedent.
Col. George Balch, a Union Army veteran, developed a pledge for the poor and immigrant schoolchildren he taught in New York, which became the basis for Bellamy’s pledge.
Balch, who, along with most of his generation, knew the value and price of freedom—and of his nation—crafted a pledge to the flag in the late 1880s.
He intended this simple declaration of patriotism to deliver a “sign” to the world that “every child and teacher under its roof is a true-hearted, earnest-minded, loyal-spirited...
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