July 4, 2005

On patriotism and principles

I'm an educational historian, and sometimes there are gems in my field that say something to the world at large. Today, it's from the wartime court decision on the Pledge of Allegiance, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943):

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. (319 U.S. 624, 642)

Happy birthday, U.S.!

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Posted in Random comments on July 4, 2005 8:13 AM |