Intense Backlash Leads To Pledge Reversal In Fargo North Dakota
Turns Out The Fargo School Board Poked The Wrong Bear
Before I do the same, I'm playing it safe and opening this article with the Pledge of Allegiance
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all
When the Fargo school board voted last week to remove the requirement of reciting those thirty-one words to open their meetings, I can't imagine they expected one Nation under God would attack them with such ferocity.
It wasn't just backlash from North Dakota.
The controversy went nationwide in the time it takes to send a tweet. Last week seven of the nine school board members voted to stop reciting the Pledge. Last night, eight of the nine school board members voted to reinstate it. The Associated Press reports the lone dissenter was Nyamal Dei who actually bore the greatest brunt of the backlash.
Angry emails and voicemails dominated Thursday’s special meeting to reconsider the vote. Nyamal Dei, a refugee who fled war-torn Sudan, played a profanity-laced voicemail from a man who called her a slave, racist and Nazi. Several board members apologized to Dei, the lone Black member on the board, for taking the worst of the abuse.
People say you should know when to pick your battles. The school board wisely chose to reverse its stance on the issue. The school year is about to begin and the real business of educating our youth needs to be a priority. I think it's safe to say many lessons have already been learned this week.
One thing I'd like to share with you is a photo I came across when looking up the history of the Pledge of Allegiance.
YIPES! It was called the Bellamy Salute.
Wikipedia explains it like this...
In 1892, Francis Bellamy created what was known as the Bellamy salute. It started with the hand outstretched toward the flag, palm down, and ended with the palm up. Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, which was adopted in Germany later, the US Congress stipulated that the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the US would be the salute to replace the Bellamy salute. Removal of the Bellamy salute occurred on December 22, 1942, when Congress amended the Flag Code language first passed into law on June 22, 1942
One other interesting note the words "under God" were not actually added until June 14, 1954. Seems we all might have learned a little something today.