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April 25, 2008

Pledge in Spanish Incites Local Vet

A local news channel posted a story about a Spanish class reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish. Normally this wouldn’t be much of a story, but a local vet decided that the Pledge should only be recited in English and went on a rant with his local VFD.

Last month, a Spanish class at Edgerton High School was allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish, which sparked a controversy between the school district and a local veteran’s group.

Local Vietnam veteran Al Decker said he was disgusted when he heard about the Spanish reading — and so was his Rock County legion group.

Decker said the pledge, like the American flag, is a symbol of the United States.

“It was designed in the United States — the pledge of allegiance. It was designed in English, and I believe that that’s the way it should be,” Decker said.

Sorry Al, I disagree. The words are just a means to convey an idea – the person is pledging allegiance to our flag… who cares which language its spoken in? The end result is the same.

According to Wikipedia and its sources:

The Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag is an oath of loyalty to the country.

So Mr. Decker, where in any legal or historical decree does it say this oath of loyalty to the Flag of the United States has to be said in English?

According to the US Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 4:

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag reads as follows:
“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.”
It should be recited by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and stand at the position of attention.

Nowhere does it state what language it shall be spoken in. Granted, the code and pledge is written in English, but any person who wishes to pledge should be allowed to do so in a language they fully understand and to be able to convey their intentions clearly.

Now it’s going to the school district. The Edgerton School District says there isn’t a problem. Even the district administrator, Norm Fjelstad, stands by the decision.

Decker and nine other vets plan to escalate the issue to the Edgerton School Board Monday with a demand of an apology and a policy change. Good luck with that.

This also isn’t the first of its kind, it seems that many schools are getting flak for reciting the pledge in Spanish and Sign Language. Seriously, sign language?

Spanish:

“Yo prometo lealtad a la bandera de los estados Unidos de America,
y a la Republica que representa, una Nacion bajo Dios, entera, con libertad y justicia para todos.”

German:

“Ich gelobe Treue auf die Fahne der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, auf die Republik, die eine Nation unter Gott ist, vereinigt durch Freiheit und Gerechtigkeit fur alle.”

French:

“J´engage ma fidelité au drapeau des États-Unis d´Amérique et à la République qu’il répresente, une nation sous Dieu, indivisible, avec liberté et justice pour tous.”

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