My personal integrity requires that I don't make thoughtless promises.
Therefore, I don't say the normal pledge of allegiance. I don't agree with it on several points, the most important being that I believe that the Federal Government of the United States of America is, in certain respects, working against liberty and justice. So I say this version instead, pausing at the right times so that it lines up with what everyone else is saying:
to the Constitution
of the United States of America,
and to the principles
for which it stands,
with liberty and justice under law."
Notice that in addition to pledging to the Constitution instead of to the flag and the government, I omit the words “one nation” and “indivisible”, because I believe in states rights; if the people in a state decide that the Federal Government is not acting in accordance with the Constitution, their state should secede from the union. This will provide needed incentive for the Federal Government to behave the way it should.
Don't worry that I'm not patriotic or some sort of anarchist rebel. I care about liberty and justice enough that I study the subject, and compare what is right with what is going on.
If you'd like to talk about it, I'd be happy to share opinions and views on the subject. Just send me an email.
--- Eric Wadsworth, August, 2011
PS: Compare my version of the pledge to the oath of office of the President of the country: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."