I've always seen the swearing allegance to the flag thing in the states as one of their more dubious habits. Wouldn't want to see it here, personally. Just as many of us don't want to see children obliged to pray to God in schools, I don't want to see them obliged to make obeisance to a flag, either.|
I have a problem with the whole 'being proud of ones country' thing. We should be proud of it when as a collective, we have done things honourably, decently, bravely. When we have acted otherwise, we should be critical. The problem with the oath-taking in school and we can see this /very/ clearly in the states, is that it encourages the attitude that any critisism is somehow treachery.
To be proud of a patch of dirt, or a people just because they're /there/ is utter nonsense. If we want our children to be proud of being British, we must act in a manner deserving of it and if we do, it is not just our children who will respect our nation.