How does the allegiance model work in American law and society?

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brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I am assuming that you are referring to the legal concept of allegiance as it relates to the relationship between citizens and their government. All naturalized citizens of thew United States are required to swear an oath of allegiance to the country and the Constitution before they can become full citizens, just as most schoolchildren in the US are required to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance on a daily basis in the schools. So this kind of allegiance model follows the philosophy and logic that a citizens must publicly express their alllegiance to this country, and cannot have allegiance to more than one country. US law then requires that, before an American citizen can become a citizen of another country, they must first renounce their American citizenship and surrender their passport. It is a form of social and political integrity for a nation just as a fence and border checkpoints along the border represents physical integrity for a nation.
indio007's profile pic

indio007 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

The United States and the several States can not hold a man's allegiance. The are both body politics. The principal was laid out by Lord Coke in the Case of the Postnati. This case is cited as authority in 400 plus State and Federal cases.

A body politique (being invisible) can as a body politique neither make nor take homage: Vide 33 Hen. 8. tit. Fealty, Brook. 5. In fide,94 in faith or ligeance nothing ought to be feigned, but ought to be ex fide non ficta.

There is also a second reason why there can be no allegiance to the States or the United States. That reason is the courts have held numerous times that the government has no individual duty of protection to any individual man. The duty of protection is the very nature of allegiance.

From the same case 

 between the Sovereign and the subject there is without comparison a higher and greater connexion: for as the subject oweth to the King his true and faithful ligeance and obedience, so the Sovereign is to govern and protect his Subjects,  regere etprotegere subditos suos:.so as between the Sovereign and subject there is duplex et reciprocum ligamen; quia sicut subditus regi tenetur ad obedientiam, ita rex subdito tenetur ad protectionem: merito igitur ligeantia dicitur a ligando, quia continet in se duplex ligamen.

The footnote: a dual and reciprocal tie, because just as the subject is bound in obedience to the king, so the king is bound to the protection of the subject; and therefore allegiance is properly so called from ligando (tying) because it contains within itself a two-way tie.


That all being said there is nothing stopping you or the government to agreeing to the legal fiction that there is a sovereign subject relationship. This relation will be presumed by the courts unless specifically rebutted.

Also in regards to the Pledge of Allegiance, it is not mandatory. Even if it were a mandatory requirement it would not be binding because there are no mutual oaths and the schools stop making childern say the Pledge of Allegiance exactly when it would become binding. That would be at the age of 12.

 

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