+1 vote
by (460 points)
I'm curious about the overall Buddhist perspective on identifying with any one nation in regards to pledging allegiance. For example, in the United States, many schools still have students pledge allegiance to the US flag each day.  Is it considered wrong view to identify yourself as "American" or "Mexican" if you are Buddhist? Is this national identification merely a form of attachment, clinging, ignorance, and perpetuating the idea of "self" and "others?"

2 Answers

0 votes
by (1.5k points)
edited by
Just a form of clinging. Even conventionally patriotism is a form of indoctrination, or propaganda.

Look at it this way, we are stuck (imprisoned) in a meat suit (human body) on a floating rock (the earth) in the middle of the darkness (the universe) to then label areas of land on that floating rock, and then to identify that land with a symbolic pattern (a flag) and then to cling to that pattern as a projection of "I/me" is the mark of an imbecile!

This labelling of phenomena can be deduced to the microcosm of the microbiotic or sub atomic level, up the the macrocosm of galaxies, universe(es) and dimensions...With this understanding (sunyata) it would be absurd to cling to such a small part of that existence as a "thing" a country, and as mine.... a country is just a mental construct!, an idea. Clinging to this idea would only cause ruin.
+1 vote
by (12.8k points)
As long as pleading allegiance does not require you to break refuge in the Triple Gem or break the five precepts, a layperson can pledge allegiance to any country or community.

Monks don't have such allegiances. For example, if you come to Sri Lanka, you can see all the lay people including the president standing up when the national anthem is being played, but the monks stay seated.
by (460 points)
What's interesting is that in the United States,  people are also taught to pledge allegiance to the flag itself,  as well as what it stands for.
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