Americans everywhere ought to applaud 10-year-old Will Phillips, who told his teacher to "go jump off a bridge" after doing what we all should do: criticizing the Pledge of Allegiance. Phillips argued that because gay marriage isn’t legal, there isn’t “liberty and justice for all”—but forget his specific complaint for a moment. “The very idea of the pledge of allegiance, in any form, is completely at odds with” American ideals, writes Michael Lind of Salon.
“The concept of ‘allegiance’ is feudal,” Lind explains. In America, as John Locke and Thomas Jefferson imagined it, we have only each other to pledge allegiance to. The government is merely a tool of our collective will. To the founders, pledging allegiance to the flag, or any other symbol of state, “would make about as much sense as pledging obedience to your refrigerator.”