Hennen: What's next? Banning the flag?

Hennen opposes the Fargo School Board's decision to no longer recite the Pledge of Allegiance before its meetings.

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Columnist Scott Hennen

It's time for the Fargo School Board to go back to school. In an astonishing vote of 7 to 2 this week, they elected to cancel reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance before school board meetings. Let that sink in. The group of citizens elected to govern the Fargo public school systems canceled the pledge.

This is not a joke. There is no punch line. This is a reality show that could be spelled S-t-u-p-i-d. The proposal came from school board member Seth Holden, who stated he does not believe in God and shared that while he does not completely disagree with the pledge, there are "factual inaccuracies" inside it, including that all Americans receive liberty and justice. Holden claimed that the pledge diverts from the school district's message of equity and inclusion. He says many in our area and in our country do not believe or have a different God than what is perceived in the pledge.

I wish we could chalk this up as one man's opinion and move on. But six other school board members agreed to end the pledge. They would not say they disagreed personally with the pledge, but they did say the focus of board meetings should be on students and education, while also presenting a "unified message" at the beginning of meetings, rather than one that divides members as well as the community.

What is next? Will they ban the flag? Will we ever end this insanity of changing time honored traditions because someone might be offended?

The late entertainer Red Skelton shared an essay from a teacher of his to impart the true meaning of the pledge. Let's hope the school board members read this:


"I — Me; an individual; a committee of one.

Pledge — Dedicate all of my worldly good to give without self-pity.

Allegiance — My love and my devotion.

To the Flag — Our standard. 'Old Glory'; a symbol of courage. And wherever she waves, there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts 'Freedom is everybody's job.'

of the United — That means we have all come together.

States — Individual communities that have united into great states; individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided by imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that’s love of country —

Of America.

And to the Republic — A Republic: a sovereign state in which power is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern; and the government is the people; and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.


For which it stands

One Nation — Meaning 'so blessed by God,' Under God

Indivisible — Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty — Which is freedom; the right of power for one to live his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.

And Justice — The principle and qualities of dealing fairly with others.

For All — For All. That means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine."

Scott Hennen hosts the statewide radio program “What’s On Your Mind?” On AM 1100 “The Flag”, KFYR AM 550, AM 1090 KTGO “The Flag” and AM 1460 KLTC. Email him at

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.


Opinion by Scott Hennen
Scott Hennen hosts the statewide radio program “What’s On Your Mind?” On AM 1100 “The Flag”, KFYR AM 550, AM 1090 KTGO “The Flag” and AM 1460 KLTC. Email him at

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