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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Hill and the flag

If Craig Hill, Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, intended to make a statement at a recent candidate forum at the Williston School, he succeeded.

Hill stood with his hands behind his back and his face turned away from the American flag as the other candidates and the student audience recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The moment was caputured in a photograph published Saturday in the Burlington Free Press.

Readers have been calling almost every day to ask the name of the candidate who looked away.

-- Nancy Remsen

It's likely some will villify Craig Hill as unpatriotic, unAmerican, and unfit to serve as an elected official. Perhaps Hill should have at least looked at the flag. But. once again we're reminded why public oaths, especially ones that contain references to God, are problematic. Supporters always argue that people (usually children)aren't forced to say the pledge. They say it's voluntary. Yet the risk one takes by obeying his or her conscience can be enormous. I say good for Craig, what ever his reason.
Why print a picture of it instead of just ignoring it. It would be nice if the freeps covered half the stuff they really should be covering.
How sadly typical of Nancy Remsen to "out" me on such a frivolous subject as a flag salute, when i have given her a good ream of material over the last few months on what to her are the relatively irrelevant subjects of healthcare and Bernie Sanders' votes supporting Bush's plans for war on Iran, which she has chosen to distort or dismiss unmentioned.

For the record: I view saluting the flag as saluting a totem, a symbol, in a forced pledge i have never felt comfortable about since i was in grade school myself, before i had any political awareness. It gnawed at my sense of freedom from the start---this rote recitation of declaring the official "God" above the nation, which i view as preposterous---"God" is the name you give to the self you think is outside you. How dare any God-believer declare themselves outside God?!

I decry the forced pledge of "allegiance" to the official political colors of the country, as waved down the centuries by as many government scoundrels as true patriots, the former group, considering Mr Sanders' presence, one with which i prefer not to be lumped, in favor of the latter, those who stand up for our Constitution (including the RIGHT, Nancy, NOT to salute a political totem---ck out the Supreme Court decision allowing Jehovah's Witnesses, and therefore ALL of us, NOT to salute a flag, as a true expression of freedom, or get out of the "journalism" biz altogether) and fight the evil within, the domestic as well as the foreign, including the frauds who populate our media, who do not inform us of the cancer we must excise---the single war party of Washington Nancy defends through constant omission of any information that actually educates her poor readers that Bush is leading us to war, either before or after this election, in Iran, nuclear bunker-busting war at that, a nuclear attack we will wake up one morning in shock to ask How could this have happened, and without my saying so never know that Nancy & Co refused to inform us that it was in the works for months---see the Iran Freedom Support Act, voted yea! by Bernie a second time on Sept 28 and signed by Bush on Oct 1st---despite my pleadings to her and her ilk to stop the war it prepares us for by exposing those plans before the bombs will, again, fall.

But no, Nancy prefers to scribble about such relative inanities as flag salutes. No surprise, considering the dearth of intelligent coverage about this campaign at all, as "reporters" wallow in garbage about amber alerts, no matter how intentionally and deadly boring these interminable "reports" are to the voters.

I chose to respect the participants of the flag salute (the flag is a cloth and so cannot see or hear) by standing, silently. I consider Nancy rude for showing her lack of respect, or of caring, to discern my principles on the subject before anouncing i "succeeded in making a statement"
i had no interest in making, while i merely stayed true to myself without cowering in fear of a majority who might dispise me for my silent expression of freedom.

FYI, Nancy, the flag used at the ceremony was fringed in yellow, and as such was an admiralty flag, one which is flown in ceremonies denoting that the Constitution is not in order. The use of this sort of American flag, used as prop by such scurrilous traitors to the Constitution as Bush, usually flown during a war run by hated politicians as if their terrible policies were officially those of the nation, which, Nancy, they are decidedly NOT, does not deserve the respect of any real Constitutional American patriot, nor even of any disinforming "journalist" who toes the official line, to the detriment of her Constitution no less than that of her readers.
Interestingly, "Under God" was not added to the pledge until 1954, thereby making it both an oath AND a prayer.
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