Public displays of patriotism fill me with dread. When they involve children, even more so. It seems like a slippery slope to the worst kind of nationalism – exactly what we don’t want to pass on to new generations.
Which is why I couldn’t believe that Lord Goldsmith (now there’s a name to conjure with for a politician in a supposed democracy) suggested that the oath of allegiance is introduced into schools. It all stems from some twisted New Labour concept of citizenship and civic pride. I’ve covered this before – it’s a complete fabrication – we are subjects not citizens - you’ll only find citizens in a republic.
Ironic isn’t it that in this country you can opt out of acknowledging god but not the monarchy ? For official and legal purposes, atheists can choose to affirm rather than swear. But there’s no such option for republicans, democrats, socialists, anarchists etc. Or anyone else who isn't happy to bend the knee like a medieval vassal. We can't choose to pledge loyalty to the parliament and the constitution rather than the crown (well not since Cromwell’s day).