if prejudiced by the cover photo... stay tuned till the end for a surprise ending.
before getting to the article: "The Pledge of Allegiance and the Flag" by Pastor Bob Hallstrom, a short history lesson:
Few may know the history of how the pledge changed in execution (from nazi-style salute to hand over heart): https://youtu.be/Xi8MXIq_0t0
Its also interesting to note the wording changes, but also not the point of this blog:
1892 to 1923 - "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." (for 48-star flag)
1954 (current version, per 4 U.S.C. §4) - "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."
so why make all this fuss, especially after what Pastor Hallstrom's article will conclude with? Because there is one use for the 48-star flag: for excluding the "UNITED STATES" from our future trust relations. More on this in the group: https://www.minds.com/groups/profile/928334272554008576
now for the next act:
by Pastor Bob Hallstrom
Today I want to look at the flag of the United States and the pledge of allegiance to that flag.
All of us use calendars and we notice that almost every month, the calendar will have a special day or two listed thereon, and Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's day are among the most popular. But if you flip your calendar to the month of June and look at the 14th it will say Flag Day. But what is this day we call flag day and what does it really mean to us?
Well first of all I opened my trusty Webster's Dictionary which told me that Flag Day is: "The anniversary of the day in 1777 when the United States flag was adopted."
HISTORY OF THE FLAG
So, with this in mind, let's briefly look at the history of the flag of the United States. First of all, we know that prior to the war for Independence, the national flag used in the colonies was that of Great Britain.
Then during the early revolutionary period there was no national flag as each colony used an emblem of its own. The revolutionary period was marked with The Stamp Act of 1765, but they had no flag; the Townshend Acts of 1767, but they had no flag; the Boston Massacre of 1770, but they had no flag; the Boston Tea Party of 1773, but they had no flag; the Boston Port Bill of 1774, but they had no flag; and finally the marked battles at Lexington and Concord of April 19, 1775, where the shot was fired heard round the world, and yet they still had no flag.
And so for these ten years the rebellion went on, and all without any national flag as each state used its own banner and according to The American Peoples Encyclopedia, it was not until:
"...January 2, 1776, [that] a new flag was raised at Cambridge, where the American army was then assembled. This flag retained the Union Jack to indicate that the colonists still recognized their allegiance to Great Britain, and in addition had, as a field, 13 stripes, alternate red and white, to represent the thirteen colonies."
The American Peoples Encyclopedia, 1952, Volume 8, p 8-631.
But you should have noticed that in retaining the symbol of the Union Jack, and even after 10 years of rebellion, this new flag still displayed allegiance to Great Britain.
Moving forward in history, the Declaration of Independence was penned on July 4, 1776, but it was not until June 14, 1777, almost one year later, that the Continental Congress adopted a flag with red and white stripes to which the blue field with stars for each state was added, and this new flag was first flown on Aug 6, 1777.
Certainly the history of this country we call the United States of America is one that was created by people who were ever mindful of a higher cause. They had a respect and reverence for the Lord and they saw this country as the New Jerusalem, the New Zion of Scriptures. In its development certain things and symbols became associated with the country, especially its Great Seal and the flag.
And so, the flag is a part of our heritage and it is something to be proudly displayed as a symbol of the United States. However, both the Great Seal of the United States and our flag are simply symbols, and as such are not to be worshipped, idolized, or revered as a thing, nor should they be elevated above the position of man as an individual. I would suggest that just one person is more important to Christ than all the flags in the world.
While the history of the flag of the United States may be well known to some, it should be pointed out that this country survived from 1776 to 1942, some 166 years, without any pledge of allegiance to the flag or to the nation.
HISTORY OF THE PLEDGE
And so it is now time to turn our attention to the history of the Pledge of Allegiance. The history of the "pledge" is quite interesting. You see, public school children first recited a pledge to the flag during the National School Celebration of October 21, 1892. That's over 100 years after the adoption of the flag.
Historically, in 1924 the Second National Flag Conference set down the official words for the pledge. But it was not until December 22, 1942, that Congress passed a law (56 Stat. 1074 at 36 U.S.C., Section 172) in reference to the pledge, but even at that time flag observance was still voluntary.
Now let me pose a question. How do you suppose this country survived without an official pledge of allegiance to the flag for the 166 years from 1776 to 1942?
How do you suppose they fought the war for independence without a pledge of allegiance? How do you suppose we went through a Civil War and even WW1 without a pledge of allegiance to the flag?
Are we to presume that for 166 years there was no desire for freedom or any sense of patriotism or love of country without a pledge? God forbid! for we know that patriotism was more alive prior to 1942, than in the years that have followed.
Prior to 1942 a pledge existed but there was no national law on the subject and the pledge was recited at the whim of state and local authorities. In the public schools, local boards determined any requirement for students and teachers to recite the pledge.
For example, a local school board in West Virginia adopted a resolution ordering that the salute to the flag will become "a regular part of the program of activities in the public schools," and that all students and teachers "shall be required to participate in the salute honoring the Nation represented by the flag;" and that failure to perform would be "regarded as an act of insubordination, and shall be dealt with accordingly." Keep in mind that this ceremony was not only a pledge but also a salute.
By the way, I should add that being "dealt with accordingly" was expulsion for students with the status of "unlawful absent" and they were also to be dealt with as delinquents. Parents were made liable to prosecution, and upon conviction subject to a $50 fine and a jail term not to exceed thirty days. Now how's that for forced participation!
What was required in this ceremony was a "stiff arm" salute, in which the person was to keep the right hand raised with palm turned up while reciting the pledge.
Shades of Nazism you say! Well, when the resolution was passed it was objected to by the local PTA, the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Red Cross, and the Federation of Women's Clubs as "being too much like Hitler's" salute.
James A. Moss, in a book entitled, The Flag of the United States: Its History and Symbolism (1914), on page 108 stated.
"The National Headquarters of the United States Flag Association takes the position that the extension of the right arm in this salute to the flag is not the Nazi-Fascist salute, 'although quite similar to it. In the Pledge to the Flag the right arm is extended and raised, palm UPWARD, whereas the Nazis extend the arm practically straight to the front (the finger tips being about even with the eyes), palm DOWNWARD, and the Fascists do the same except they raise the arm slightly higher.'"
So we see the United States salute to the flag was almost identical with the Nazi and the Fascist salute, with the minor exception that the hand was to be positioned palm up rather than palm down.
Hopefully, I don't have to point out to you the shades of nationalism being forced upon our children and society back in 1942.
The history of the United States and its flag is a colorful history and certainly a history to be proud of. However, we need to remember that our national history is also tainted with un-Godly accomplishments in financing revolutions, protecting American banks located on foreign soil, and deploying military troops to protect commercial activities in foreign countries.
This is not to say that we should not be proud of our Country's land, as it is one of the most beautiful in the world. We should even be proud of our national accomplishments but we also need to keep in mind that those accomplishments were achieved by individuals -- not government.
While government may finance certain programs it is still people that pay the taxes and do the research, it is people that design and build buildings, it is people that design, fly spaceships, and walk on the moon -- it is not the government.
I would think that properly motivated patriotism has a positive effect on the country and the people. However, our government has exploited that patriotism, that love of country, etc., to an extreme, and the result, whether the majority recognize it or not, is that nationalism or collectivism has become the god of the country and therefore, the god of the people.
THE FLAG AND THE PLEDGE - part 2
In our last article I began looking at the flag of the United States and the pledge of allegiance to that flag.
I even asked the question: How do you suppose this country survived without an official pledge of allegiance to the flag for the 166 years from 1776 to 1942?
How do you suppose our forefathers fought the war for independence without a pledge of allegiance? How do you suppose we went through a Civil War and even WW1 without a pledge of allegiance to the flag?
Finally, I told you that prior to 1942 a pledge existed but there was no national law on the subject and the pledge was recited at the whim of state and local authorities. In the public schools, local boards determined any requirement for students and teachers to recite the pledge.
As an example I told you that a local school board in West Virginia adopted a resolution ordering that the salute to the flag will become "a regular part of the program of activities in the public schools," and that all students and teachers "shall be required to participate in the salute honoring the Nation represented by the flag;" and that failure to perform would be "regarded as an act of insubordination, and shall be dealt with accordingly." Keep in mind that this ceremony was not only a pledge but also a salute.
It has been pointed out that the initial salute and pledge was accomplished with the arm extended in a Nazi/Fascist like salute which was later changed to placing the hand over the heart, Roman style. But a salute is still a salute no matter how the arm is extended and where the hand is placed. Hopefully it can be understood that any such ritual is paying reverence to an inanimate object which is nothing more than idol worship.
While the United States may have been born as a republic it has grown into another full grown socialistic state steeped in nationalism and collectivism, and yet we continue the facade by pledging our allegiance to a flag and to a republic that no longer exists.
The salute and the pledge, among other things, have created a society of people who seek all things from the government, and when government fails, then peple will pray to God to set government straight. People fail to remember or recognize that they are praying for God to set their governmet straight -- not His. But now let me ask you. What ever happened to "Seek ye first his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you?" People have forgotten a basic principle of God that commands us to "fear (revere) God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastics 12:13).
People need to not only accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour, they also need to become obedient to his Word which provides His "perfect law of liberty."
Can we not understand the simple fact that governments are created by man and are not ordained by God. Can we not understand the simple fact that governments cannot give the people "liberty" which is a free gift from God -- neither have governments historically protected liberty except for short periods of time.
Going back to the early history of our people, we find that God's perfect government for Israel was a theocracy and consisted of God as king and His Word was our law. God provided no other system for the people of Israel. However, our Israelite forefathers demanded a king from God and God gave them a king, and the Israelites paid the price for their stupidity.
And we, like them, demanded a FEDERAL government and a federal government we got, and, like Israel of old, we have been paying the price for our stupidity ever since. May God have mercy on us.
However, we, as believers in the Word of God, need to remember that God is our king, God is our lawgiver, God is our judge, and our God has given us a kingdom. In this regard, we are not commanded in Matthew 6:33 to "seek ye first the kingdom of the United States" -- rather we are commanded to "seek ye first the kingdom of God." Our God-given mission, then, is not to serve the state but to serve God. As Joshua said, recorded for us in Joshua 24:15:
"Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve (obey) him in sincerity and in truth:....And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve;...but as for me and my house, we will serve (obey) the LORD."
We can always choose to serve "the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell:..." In other words, we can choose to "pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.... Or can we say: "But as for me and my house, we will serve (obey) the LORD."
Do we not understand the simple principle that service to God is being a servant of God, while service to any other sovereign, such as the United States, is being a servant of that sovereign. Have we not read what is recorded for us in Romans 6:16, which states:
"Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey."
Now my brethren, let us know and understand that service to the Lord God should be our first priority as Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastics 12:13 that:
"This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear (respect) God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man."
Many people have been attempting to serve God in the spirit and the government in the flesh. However this is impossible for we are plainly told in Matthew 6:24 that "No man (servant of God) can serve two masters...Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."
In addition Matthew 6:33 again states "...seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness..."
If we pledge our allegiance to anyone, it should be our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. If we have a pledge it should be a new pledge that goes something like this:
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO MY LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, AND TO THE KINGDOM FOR WHICH HE STANDS, ONE KINGDOM UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. AMEN!
But nothing has changed in two thousand years. Just as the Romans hailed the Roman Empire and their Caesar's, we hail our sovereign United States of America and our President. The president even has his own song entitled "Hail to the Chief." We even go so far as to pledge our allegience to a flag of cloth. What ever happened to allegience to God?
Folks, by the very definition of the word "sovereign," there can be only one sovereign. And the question we have to think about is will our sovereign be God or the state? The Pilgrims recognized the true sovereignty of God when they said, "We have but one king -- King Jesus."
George Washington recognized it, as when he was asked to be king he refused and said: "I will only preside until the King comes."
Dearly beloved, there are only two things to choose from: will you serve the state or will you serve Christ and the kingdom of God. Once you have made your choice then you can proclaim one of the following:
HAIL CAESAR!! HAIL CAESAR!! I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG.......
KING JESUS O LAMB OF GOD, I COME, I COME
Oh yes I know that you have been conditioned to worship the Lord thy God and serve the state, but this cannot be for this is a contradiction of terms and once again I refer you to Christ's own words on the subject when He said in Matthew 6:24:
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
And so the choice is yours and you cannot serve two masters, and so you need to, in the words of Joshua: "...choose you this day whom ye will serve;...."
If you choose King Jesus then I would like to once again propose that we discard the familiar pledge of allegiance to the flag and say something like the following:
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO MY LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, AND TO THE KINGDOM FOR WHICH HE STANDS, ONE KINGDOM UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. AMEN!
(end of article)
the above is an interesting start at reform, but below is another suggestion.
while this is closer, isn't our 'living prayer' supposed to be one of glorification of abba in heaven thru everything we do? i.e. "show our trust by our deeds" (James 2)? and because of: "blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (matt 5:9)... is there a better alternative?
if we must have a "flag", why not one recognized under international treaty and known as the "banner of peace"? This flag has been flown globally, as a sign of peace and culture, since the 1930's.... a powerful universal symbol …to serve as an emblem for the desire of human culture to rise above war.
The Roerich Peace Pact was signed in Washington in 1935 by the US and 20 Latin American countries. Other countries, including the Soviet Union, added their signatures in 1959. The flag became a symbol of commitment to the protection of historical, cultural or scientifically significant monuments.
"Where there is peace, there is culture. Where there is culture, there is peace." (Nicholas Roerich, 1874-1947)... why not as a "flag" but a "banner of peace"? 1st from a military view by colonel A.E. Mahon, D.S.O.:
if the Banner of Peace is not practical from a military point of view then the Red Cross is also not practical, but the Red Cross has been proved to be the practical, therefore, as Euclid would say, Q.E.D."
The Pact states,
“educational, artistic, and scientific institutions... shall be protected and respected by the belligerents... without any discrimination as to the state allegiance of any particular institution or mission... these missions may display a distinctive flag (the Banner of Peace)... which will entitle them to special protection and respect...”
Thus any site of cultural activity around the world can fly the Banner of Peace to declare itself neutral, independent of combatant forces, and protected by international treaty.
as peacemakers we have a calling as ministers of reconciliation, and the "way-showers" of a set-apart nation need to know how to walk that "narrow path."
paradise restored: rehabilitation of (PTSD) post-traumatic slavery disorder thru separation from church & state https://www.hosfell.org/single-post/paradise