I totally missed Loyalty Day

I forgot. I never knew about it. And if I had, I would have spit on the idea.

Did you know that yesterday was Loyalty Day?

In order to recognize the American spirit of loyalty and the sacrifices that so many have made for our Nation, the Congress, by Public Law 85-529 as amended, has designated May 1 of each year as “Loyalty Day.” On this day, let us reaffirm our allegiance to the United States of America and pay tribute to the heritage of American freedom.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2016, as Loyalty Day. This Loyalty Day, I call upon all the people of the United States to join in support of this national observance, whether by displaying the flag of the United States or pledging allegiance to the Republic for which it stands.

Like so many evil things*, this bad presidential tradition came out of the 1950s, the Red Scare, that knee-jerk anti-Commie crapola that still fuels the fevered brains of conservatives. Of course it is on May Day, or International Workers’ Day, because there’s nothing our wealthy overlords would like to do more than replace autonomy and self-respect with mindless obedience.

I do not pledge allegiance to anything. Sometimes the greatest loyalty is a willingness to change old institutions to make them better.

*Like, say, me.


  1. dianne says

    Sorry, I was too busy celebrating International Workers Day to notice Loyalty Day.

  2. dianne says

    @2: I was about to confess that I could not claim loyalty to ice cream because I was apt to cheat on ice cream with cake. Then it occurred to me that I was falling for some sort of false dichotomy. Surely one can be loyal to both cake and ice cream simultaneously.

  3. komarov says

    Re: williamgeorge #2, dianne #3:
    Unlike nationalism, calorism has no borders or demarcations. Even the most die-hard calorist (usually) has no inclination, reason or excuse to take exception to another calorist’s choices. Anything will do as long as it’s delicious. For example, I am very loyal, very loyal indeed, to chocolate. But I can also appreciate and, on occasion, enjoy the merits of ice cream and cake. Among other things… (Like nationalism, calorism can be very bad for you)

  4. dianne says

    Like nationalism, calorism can be very bad for you

    In both cases, moderation is the key. A calorism that leads you to enjoy an ice cream kugel on the weekends after a bike ride through the fields is very different from one that leads you to eat the entire 1-2 gallon container of ice cream every evening. Likewise, a nationalism that leads you to paint your flag on your cheek during the world cup and have fun cheering your team on is a relatively harmless way to channel the natural human desire to divide the world into “us” and “them” and beat the crap out of “them” and is quite preferable to starting a war every time “they” look at you funny.

    Also, ice cream, cake, and chocolate can be combined without any loss of purity. Oddly, nationalism can be combined as well, though with more difficulty.

  5. cartomancer says

    Pffft, everyone knows that the only appropriate thing for less-than-athletic bearded men in their fifties to do on May Day is Morris Dancing.

  6. says

    Is singing “The Internationale” a traditional part of the observance of Loyalty Day? (To think I had not heard of Loyalty Day till today. I missed it!)

  7. opposablethumbs says

    … as long as you also do the Dark Morris in October, right? :-)

    Ice-cream, cake and chocolate ftw, btw.

    And Loyalty Day sounds like the thinking behind it is identical to that behind the supermarkets’ Loyalty Cards – keep an eye on your behaviour for the purposes of maximising profit, basically.

  8. brett says

    I’ve never heard of Loyalty Day. Usually conservatives save their crappiness for Labor Day – the only real pushback I read was from the Washington Post, where one of the bloggers there said it should be called “Victims of Communism Day”.

  9. Zeppelin says

    @komarov But sadly, the Deep Rift between proponents of dark chocolate purity and those who consider white chocolate also acceptable shows no sign of healing.

  10. Kreator says


    the only real pushback I read was from the Washington Post, where one of the bloggers there said it should be called “Victims of Communism Day”.

    Ironic considering that International Workers’ Day is a “Victims of Capitalism Day.”

  11. numerobis says

    I discovered it was May Day when a few hundred people walked by blowing horns. Good turnout, despite the rain.

  12. James says

    Loyalty Day sounds as serious as National Brotherhood Week, which Tom Lehrer so famously demolished

  13. Dark Jaguar says

    Loyalty is the most easily corrupted of all virtues. To the right cause or person, it can be a powerful force for good, but pledge it to the wrong thing, and you’re doomed to cause all manner of harm.

  14. Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority) says

    cartomancer @6 & opposablethumbs @8:

    I think that getting PZ to start up the Morris Morris Men is a cause we can all get behind.

  15. Rich Woods says

    @cartomancer #6:

    You forgot to mention the requisite beer-drinking that goes with Morris dancing. That less-than-athleticism has to be worked at!

  16. rjw1 says

    “In order to recognize the American spirit of loyalty and the sacrifices that so many have made for our Nation,”

    Tragically most (of the millions) haven’t been US citizens, they were Vietnamese, Iraqis. Afghans, etc.