By Hannah Clere
Editor’s Note: To learn more about the balancing patriotic views and First Amendment rights, read Pages 4 and 5 of this Friday’s print edition of The Bagpiper on Sept. 30.
Bagpiper: How do you believe people should act when saying or listening to the Pledge?
Mike Beal: “This is America, they’re free to do whatever they want. I would hope that they would want to stand and show respect to the flag which stands for our freedom, their freedom. It was hard fought, hard won. People shed their blood for this and if they can’t find a reason to stand then I would hope that they could see that it’s a respect thing in honor of those who made the sacrifice for them.”
BP: What is Pledge etiquette?
MB: “Right hand over the heart, standing at attention, face the flag.”
BP: How do you think national tradition and personal beliefs relate or clash?
MB: “Anybody can disagree with anything they want. Their beliefs are their beliefs for whatever reason and that’s not the argument here. The argument is respect and appreciation for the things we do have and realizing no one’s perfect. No country is perfect, but if we don’t appreciate what we do have, we’re going to lose it.”
BP: Do you think that there will be many students who choose to sit during the Pledge?
MB: “My hope is that there would not be.”