Ilona Nickels
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Accountability of Elected Officials
Career Paths to Congress
Chaplains in the U.S. Congress
House Ethics Process
House/Senate Differences
Lame Duck Congress: Attendance and Voting
Members of Congress: A Job Description
Members of Congress: Who Do They Represent?
Oath of Office for Members of Congress
Pledge of Allegiance: Standing for the Pledge
Pledge of Allegiance: Use in Congress
Qualifications to Run for Congress
Senate: 50-50 Split?
Senate Majority Leader: A Job Description
Sessions of Congress: Lengths
Size of House and Senate
Speaker of the House: a Job Description
Amending the Constitution
Constitutionality of Legislation
August Recesses
First Congress
GOP: Origins of Term
Ideology: Left or Right
Lame Duck Congress: Definition
Party Animals: the Donkey and the Elephant
Statue of Freedom
U.S. Citizenship Test
Amendment Tree in the Senate
Changing a Law
Conference Committees: In Decline
Conference Committees: Procedures
“Deem and Pass” Procedure
Executive Orders
Holds in the Senate
How to Find Basic Legislative Information
How to Keep Up With Congress
Types of Legislation

Capitol Corner

Pledge of Allegiance:
Standing for the Pledge

Do all members stand for the Pledge each business day?
I saw a picture where some members were seated and oblivious, while others stood with hands over hearts. As an Army veteran, I think they should be censored for disrespect.

Pledge of Allegiance: Standing for the Pledge by Ilona NickelsWhat you observed is true. Some stand; some don't. But I don't believe that this occurs out of disrespect for our flag.

The House floor is much larger and noisier in reality than it appears on TV. It's like a 3-ring circus: all kinds of different things are going on in different areas.

People are talking nonstop. Being on the House floor is the only time many Members see each other since they are split among three separate office buildings. There's a LOT of independent conversations going on at all times. Imagine when 435 people are at various stages of coming and going all day long.

Because the House floor is so noisy, it's truly difficult to hear the Presiding Officer: that's why they are always banging that gavel! I would be willing to bet you that a large chunk of folks on the floor have no idea the Pledge of Allegiance is happening or even that the House has been formally convened into session. I really don't think it's disrespect; to use your word, they are truly oblivious to what is happening.

The Speaker of the House, under House official rules, has sole authority over the proceedings and decorum of the House floor. If you want to change this behavior, he's the person to contact. Organize your fellow veterans to do a letter writing campaign (you can email, of course, but letters get more attention; there are thousands of emails daily; they can't keep up with them.) Or fax messages. Or phone. Or leave comments on the Speaker's Facebook page. Or use Twitter. Or all of the above.

Ask the Speaker to insist that the Presiding Officer gavel until everyone pays attention and is aware the Pledge is about to happen and ask that the Presiding Officer tell everyone to stand. In other words, don't rush through this moment. Set it up properly so it will be respected.

You might also contact any national Veteran organizations you belong to and ask them to lobby for this change to occur. I think they would be heard!

Here is contact information for you:

Rep. Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-0600
Fax: (202) 225-2012