human behavior

We teach’em young

Posted in American Culture & Politics by humanb on November 30, 2006

I know a girl in Virginia barely 3 years old, who after only a few months in day care, can now recite:

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.

And sing:

The Grand Old Flag
You’re a grand old flag,
You’re a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You’re the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.

Ev’ry heart beats true
‘neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there’s never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

And also sing:

God Bless America
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

Whoa.

And then she takes a bow and gets jiggy wit’ it and waves her American flag all around, while you chant “Go Booka! Go Booka!”

She’s awesome. She’ll give renewed credibility to that pledge, those songs and that flag one day. You’ll see.

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2 Responses

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  1. Conderosa said, on December 1, 2006 at 1:35 am

    It would appear that the teaching of America’s young to be patriotic is returning. I remember when my cousin, who is a baby-boomer, at age 5 could sing “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa. The tough lyrics and his squeaky voice made it the most entertaining performance I had ever viewed.

    The practice of teaching patriotic songs to America’s young, seems to have skipped a generation and, from your post, have now returned, at least to Virginia. While my cousin never joined the army, nor is he patriotic today, he is still very entertaining. Tell the little girl in Virginia to keep on singing . . . perhaps one day she will perform for the troops!

    Below are the lyrics to Sousa’s famous march.

    Three cheers for the red, white and blue,
    For the red is the blood of our brothers.
    The white is the light of the star
    That has led us to where we are.
    The blue is the hue of the sky
    Where on high the Almighty falters never.
    Our banner for two hundred years!
    Oh pioneers! Here’s to the stars and stripes forever!

  2. humanb said, on December 1, 2006 at 9:36 am

    So your cousin is no longer patriotic, eh? Here’s hoping the next generation gives him reason to be.

    I think many Europeans and Australians find our patriotism extreme and suspiscious, like our relatively exhaustive study of our own history, which necessarily means we study less world history (the latter fact a pity).

    In Australia today there is an ongoing debate about whether Australian history should be a course unto itself in schools (currently it is not in some states). There is also much debate on whose history should be taught – that of the victors? whites? Aborigines? later immigrants?

    I know some non-American readers of my post would be shaking their heads in dismay at our enthusiastic patriotism – in large part due to our current reputation in the world, which is abysmal.

    I on the other hand, delight at the footy (League) to see the Aussies proudly sing their anthem and the Kiwis sing theirs in both English and the native Maori: two lovely songs sung by the footy fans of two great nations.


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