Let me start with a quote that Sep Ebrahimzadeh posted. This is from the History As Weapon web site article “You Have to Fight for Freedom” (1973)
When i was maybe ten years old, i changed schools. On the way to school, i had to go through a park that was for white people only. We could walk through the park but we couldn’t stop at all, just pass through it. There were swings in this park and, oh, I so much wanted sometimes to just stop and swing a little while, but we couldn’t because we were black. I would walk through this park to my school where there weren’t any swings.
Every morning all the kids would line up according to classrooms and we would have prayers and sing the Star Spangled Banner and then we’d march to our respective groups after this business.
I decided I wasn’t going to sing the Star Spangled Banner. I just stood there every morning and I didn’t sing it. One morning, one of the teachers noticed that I wasn’t doing it. So she very quietly called me over and asked me why didn’t I sing the Star Spangled Banner. I said I just didn’t feel like singing it. So she said, “Well then you have to go in to the principal and explain that to him. All of the children in the school take part and you’ve got to do it too.” OK, I went in to the principal and he asked me why I wasn’t singing the Star Spangled Banner….
Finally I told him. “Because it says ‘The land of the free and the home of the brave’ and this is not the land of the free. I don’t know who’s brave but I’m not going to sing it any more.” Then he said, “Why you’ve been singing it all the time haven’t you? How come you want to stop now?” And I told him about coming through the park and if I could not swing in those swings in the park, and I couldn’t sit in the park, and I could only walk in Shakespeare Park, then it couldn’t be the land of the free. “Who’s free?” He didn’t say anything.
Then he said, “Well, you could pledge allegiance to your flag.” I said, “It’s not my flag. The flag is with freedom. If the land is free and the flag is mine, then how come I can’t do like the white kids?”….
You can watch a reading of the above quote on Vimeo.
Now here us the CBS News article Texas AG backs school that expelled student over Pledge of Allegiance.
Texas state law prohibits students from sitting during the Pledge of Allegiance unless they have written consent from a parent or guardian, KHOU reports.
India Landry filed a lawsuit after she was kicked out of school last year when she was a senior at Windfern High School, in Harris County. She and her mother claimed the principal made an arbitrary decision to punish her given that Landry sat down for the Pledge of Allegiance in hundreds of previous cases.
“I don’t believe the flag is for what it says it’s for,” Landry said last year, KHOU reported. “For liberty and justice and all that.”