Flag Country (2019)
Based on Dave Bonta's haibun poem, "Flag Country," begins with a story about an unplanned stop during a road trip, arrested to see an enormous flag at a car lot in Orbisonia, PA. Our mesmerizing views of the flag furling and unfurling in the wind, along with the "skywritten" text, induce the hypnotic state described in the poem, accompanied by a soundscape that conducts a whirlwind tour of American aspirations and moments of civil dissent, revealing the challenging gaps that continue to exist between our ideals and our actual achievements.
"Flag Country" is still out on the festival circuit, but you can view the trailer for our film here.
Flag Country end title notes
The end titles of our film got a little long, so here is the full explanation of the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance and the Oath of Allegiance. Only the Oath of Allegiance is required for new U.S. citizens.
The Pledge of Allegiance and the Oath of Allegiance
The pledge in its current form was composed in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy. The version officially adopted by Congress in 1942, during WWII, reads: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” This is the version included in our film. In the midst of the Cold War, the words “under God” were added by a joint resolution of Congress. The pledge and its addition have been and remain controversial. For instance, in 1943, the Supreme Court reversed itself and ruled that public school students did not have to recite the pledge, and in a later case the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that students did not have to stand for the pledge either. The most current rulings allow the words “under God” to remain as long as reciting the pledge is voluntary.
The Oath of Allegiance required of new citizens is different:
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support
and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the
United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;
so help me God." This oath can be modified or waived in certain circumstances, according to Chapter 5 of “A Guide to Naturalization,” which notes that “so help me God” can be left out upon request to USCIS, without evidence or testimony.