A Project for Better Journalism chapter

I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag

November 2008

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America”

As a child, these words hung on a tall white door in my home, and every morning I would stand there slowly blinking sleep out of my eyes and pledge these words with my little hand firmly pressed against my heart.  My childish eyes would fixate on the cartoon flag below the words in wonder.  I would count the bold red stripes and attempt to count as many of the shining white stars as I could before losing my place and starting over.  Every star stood for a foreign place that I could scarcely imagine, but there was one that always stood out.  The one that represented my future was always right there in the middle, but in my mind it was as if the word Georgia was printed across it in big bold letters leaving me wondering, what did it mean?  What would it look like?

My mother would walk into the room, and I would ask her, “What does it mean?” in my quiet British accent.  She would smile down at me and say,

“It means that we pledge our time, our talent, and our efforts to sustaining the flag of the United States of America.  This flag represents the freedom and dreams we can attain in a land of liberty and justice.  Every day this pledge is spoken as a reminder of what we can be and who we strive to be to make the world a better place.  You will always have your British heart beating as a reminder of who you are, and now America will give you a place to show the world who you are.”