Regarding the national anthem controversy in the US: I once was invited to speak at a local club here in Turlock (and I rarely over the years spoke locally in this area--for many reasons). Before my talk, the event started with a Pledge of Allegiance. They all stood up and did the pledge, while I remained seated (facing the audience) minding my own business. People in the audience were furious: several stormed out in protest and one wanted to know why I didn't participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. I explained that I don't do religious or pagan rituals, and this was a combination of both. My explanation did not go well--I felt.