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Title: Political Cartoon

Ullr - February 19, 2009 11:58 PM (GMT)

In the scroll down box with the dates, scroll to 6/29/02 for the political cartoon my paper is about.

“One Nation Under Nothing in Particular”: A Political Cartoon Analysis

Gary Markstein’s pledge of allegiance cartoon is a cartoon I think most Americans would understand immediately upon seeing. His cartoon encompasses the ongoing and heated debate pertaining to our Pledge of Allegiance. He illustrates a group of children in school, standing in the morning reciting the Pledge of Allegiance like millions of children do each day. However, instead of reciting the debated lines of “one nation under God” they are cleverly replaced by the lines “one nation under nothing in particular.”

The reason I say most Americans would understand this picture easily is because it it is clearly about our Pledge of Allegiance and the ongoing debate in Washington over the recitation of the pledge. The cartoonist here indefinitely expresses a conservative tendency in that replacing the words “one nation under God” with his own words, “one nation under nothing in particular” alludes to his potential political alignment. The children’s faces also give way to more subtleties of conservativeness because they seem to not care what they are saying, and the furled flag in the back also suggests the idea of impoverishment. -If “under God” is removed from the pledge (and based on the 2004 Supreme Court decision, which left the question open ended for future appeal, questioning if the pledge is constitutional and if it should be an answer decided upon on a federal level) we could in fact be snuffing out God- and America, on a national level. While the words “under God” were added in the 1950’s, debate erupts as to why change it or why not.

In a conservative defense, our nation’s principles were partially founded from tyranny upon freedom of religious prosecution, and therefore would justify the words “under God” in the pledge because that ideal was what our nation was built upon. Why shouldn't that be honored? It would be no different than our National Anthem being recited at every baseball game in America. However, on the liberal spectrum, we interpret our founding as being a way of escaping a forced pattern of religion while under the crown. Our nation was founded on freedom of prosecution principles, not freedom of Christianity.This amplifies our right of choice to either commit to reciting those words or a selected religion or choosing not to, based on our own freedom of thought. The detail on the furled flag also can be dismissed because look at any picture of the Oval Office and you will, indeed, find a furled flag behind the President's desk.

Now what does the future hold? According to Gary Markstein he hints to the notion as well, that the debate is something that Americans do not address on the forefront and choose not to care, like the children allegedly don’t in the picture and once again the furled flag. However, much like I am expressing an idea in this article, ask any American, and they will have a response to such a question. Overall, Gary Markstein’s political cartoon achieves a level of cartoonist-merit being that it was effective in bringing out the issue and thats no insult. While his cartoon is a fine example of a conservative stance, he delivers and thats the point of a political cartoon.

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