Patriotic Pledge in Court question.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Manila Bulletin, July 1, 2002 | Go to article overview

Patriotic Pledge in Court question.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)


(Editor's note: A succession of controversy and court cases has shrouded the 'Pledge' since the very start.)

MOST senior citizens in coffee shops with a college education - and born before 1930 - have a stock of stories about the Commonwealth, Liberation '45 and the Korean War.

From a retired colonel: "Before I could sing 'Land of the Morning' our teachers ordered us to hum or sing 'Oh Say, Can You See.' In June 1942 we were told that 'Land " was still okay, but a new sad song was introduced by our teacher, 'Kimigayo.' 'Oh Say, ' was out. The other day I heard my grandson shouting, 'Oh no, The Star-Spangled Banner is declared illegal.'''

Anthem and Pledge

My comment: "'Oh Say, Can You See' is still valid; it is the national anthem of the United States. It is the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag that was declared unconstitutional by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco, which has jurisdiction over Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon and Washington. One is a hymn, the other is a pledge.

In RP, it's like the difference between "Lupang Hinirang" and "I Love the Philippines."

From a corner table a boyish promdi asked: "Is our national anthem an American composition?"

A guest in barong volunteered: "The original Spanish lyric was written by poet Jose Palma (brother of Rafael, former president of U.P. and biographer of Rizal); the martial music was composed or copied by Julian Felipe. In the 1950s the first Tagalog version, not Pilipino, found its way into the public school system. But in one Visayan province most politicians believe the Tagalog translation is neither official nor proper. 'Land of the Morning' was easier to memorize."

The retired colonel noted that he "cannot remember the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag as part of the Monday morning ceremonies in the school system during the Commonwealth (Nov. 15, 1935 to July 3, 1946)."

I explained that if the US Congress, in 1954, had not added two words - "under God" - to the Pledge there would have been no court case to speak of.

Controversy from the start

The Pledge has been shrouded with controversy from the very start. …

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