Don Munsch of the Killeen Daily Herald wonders about the increasing use of the Pledge to the Texas Flag at official meetings and in courtrooms across the State. The pledge itself reads:
Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.
Putting aside the somewhat redundant nature of the language (Texas being one state and also one and indivisible), and the possible First Amendment violation involved in requiring anyone to pledge that Texas is a state under God, the once obscure pledge is now in common use by certain governmental bodies in addition to the Pledge of Allegiance – which Munsch points out necessarily includes Texas by reference to the fifty-starred flag.
The Herald asked city and school officials about the practice.
“The best answer we can offer as to why we do it is that it is simply a show of respect to our state’s flag,” said Kevin Keller, public information officer for the city of Copperas Cove.
In a statement from the Killeen Independent School District, district spokesman Shannon Rideout said the KISD school board follows the policies written in the Texas Education Code, which states that school boards of each district should require students to recite pledges to both flags — American and Texas — in accordance with applicable government code.
The board just abides by the standards set in the code, by which students are held to, as well.
“I moved from Georgia to Harker Heights in January of 2004 and the pledge to the Texas flag was something being done at that time,” said Harker Heights City Manager David Mitchell. “As far as when that started, I could not tell you. I asked around the office and no one can remember when the city began to include the pledge to the Texas flag.”