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Taking a Knee For the Anthem? Maybe You Forgot About This…

It seems a young man in Michigan was forcibly moved out of his seat in school for not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. He had stopped “participating” in giving his oath to his country in second grade after witnessing his father, who is an educator in Pontiac, MI, sit during the Pledge.

The teacher who forced the young man to stand is on administrative leave.

His father is proud that his son is “following his own path”.

It is appalling that an educator and father would be glad to foster disdain for the country that supports him and his family.

One might argue that the father and probably the mother are working and paying their own way in life. Constitutionally, citizens have the right not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Perhaps, and that is fine, but what is the USA, i.e. taxpayers, giving this student and his family?

Even though most statistics have a three-year delay in reporting, the average cost of a kindergarten through 12th grade public education is, for an average student, approximately $ 122,000.00. States with higher cost of living can spend proportionately more, up to 210,000.00 in New York, or less in Mississippi at a cost of $ 100,000.00.

The money comes from county, city and state taxes paid by those who earn wages qualified to be taxable.

What about the main roads that people use to commute to work and school? How much is spent on roads and infrastructure?

In 2013 and 2014, forty billion was spent on roads and infrastructure, with a request for a higher budget in 2015 for forty-seven billion. This is a federal budget only for all the states, states have their own responsibility to match these funds in many cases.

Since this is about Michigan, these funds need to be divided by 50 in order to get a state total of 800 million. Again, this is only federal input, not including state, county or city.

What about parks and recreation areas?

It costs around 800 thousand to one million to develop and maintain a park.

These are just a few examples of public conveniences paid for by American taxpayers.

The young man in question is from Farmington Hills, Michigan. The population in 2016 and 2017 for Farmington Hills, MI is 79,740.

To crudely add up the cost of public school, roads and infrastructure and just one park, the total comes to $ 801,022,000 which has to be divided by 79,740. This comes to $10,045.43 per person, per year. The average person with an average family income wouldn’t pay $ 10,000.00 per year in taxes. (Figures are estimates, and not guaranteed by an actuary.)

These are just a few of the things that American citizens enjoy and certainly are not inclusive of the costs of all of the niceties here in an average hometown in the USA. It doesn’t include the cost of public servants like police or hospitals and first responders.

What about the things that are priceless, like the service of veterans who have been killed or wounded? Families that lost a loved one or are dealing with severe wounds and the disabilities that accompany these tragedies in their service to the United States? Is there a way to account for that sacrifice? Of course not, even if one added medical bills or Social Security for dependents.

When one totals all of the good that is received from the system here in the United States, it seems a very small price to pay to stand, place your hand over heart and pledge an allegiance to the hand that feeds and cares for its citizenry.

The United States is in no way perfect, but anyone who has seen more of the world will tell you that America is a very blessed land.

Celebrities who “take a knee” during the Pledge and the National Anthem aren’t being brave. They are being an ingrate to those who have given all in order that their rights can be observed without punishment as outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Imitating such behavior is comparable to being a guest in a lovely home and refusing to be grateful, say thank you or be respectful to your host.

John F. Kennedy said, “My fellow American, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

He would be aghast that today’s young people and those who have gained so much wealth and privilege from the United States cannot be bothered to simply stand and pledge allegiance to same.

photo credit: Excerpted from: simpleinsomnia Children pledging allegiance to the flag via photopin (license)

Share if you want to remind people WHY we pledge allegiance to the Flag of the USA.

Candace Hardin

Candace Hardin resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She is fluent in Spanish and a student of Latin and history. She is a columnist on and has a blog, Originally from North Carolina, her writing and beliefs have been heavily influenced by the Appalachian culture and tradition.