The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929


Local residents get serious about pledging allegiance to flag


July 11, 2018

As Chad McDonald, left, records a live-stream Facebook broadcast, Sweet Home residents perform the Pledge of Allegiance on the morning of July 4 at the Meridian Heights home of Todd Branson, behind the mic, who has made saying the pledge a daily Facebook event.

They stood in a tight semicircle, 30-some local residents on the morning of the Fourth of July, quietly waiting for a signal that it was time.

To say the Pledge of Allegiance.

They were gathered in local real estate agent Todd Branson's back yard on Meridian Heights, to participate in a tradition that Branson and his next-door neighbor, Mike Harris, began in mid-April: saluting the flag at 7 a.m. every weekday morning and live-streaming it on Branson's Facebook.

"We do it Monday through Friday," Branson said. "It's one of those things that needed to be done."

Branson said he got the idea after a conversation with a local teacher. Branson builds flags out of old wine barrels as a sideline and, he said, the teacher asked for one. In the course of their discussion, he said, he learned that the flag salute is no longer necessarily a standard part of the day in classrooms – it's optional.

Branson said he was bothered.

"I said, 'If you're not going to use it, I'm not going to make you one.'

"It's one of those things we used to do, faithfully, every single morning."

TODD BRANSON talks about his pledge as the clock clicks down to showtime on July 4.

Branson said he complained about it on Facebook and and "somebody said, 'Why don't you do it every morning at 7 a.m.?"

He bit.

"Somebody's got to do it."

He and Harris appear in the posts, all of which can be seen on his Facebook at, though Harris missed the July 4 pledge due to a conflict.

Branson said last week that hits on his Facebook had really started to climb – from "300 to 500 a day" to "probably 8,000."

"It's really taken off," he said.

Branson said others are welcome to join in.

"We kind of encourage somebody who wants to do it with us," he said. "I've had people say, 'One of these days I'm going to come up there and do it.' We've had some actually show up. The more the merrier."


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