Langley City Council considers reinstating Pledge of Allegiance

During the pandemic, the council ceased saying the pledge when virtual meetings became commonplace.

The Langley City Council may resume its recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the council ceased saying the pledge when virtual meetings became commonplace.

Now, with in-person meetings back in full swing in the council chambers of Langley City Hall, a return of the pledge may be imminent. Councilmember Thomas Gill, who is running for mayor, broached the subject during a meeting this week, which he said was suggested to him by Finance Director Wanda Grone.

Restarting the pledge, he said, is about reiterating the beliefs in freedom, equality, liberty and justice, and helps center the council and participants before a meeting begins.

Councilmember Harolynne Bobis agreed, saying that the pledge speaks to what America strives to be. Councilmember Gail Fleming suggested adding a moment of silence where people can use the time as they see fit, whether it’s a prayer, the pledge, deep breathing or whatever it takes for them to be centered and proceed in a manner of peacefulness and respectfulness.

Councilmember Craig Cyr reminded the council that they said the mayor can choose the opening words for the meetings. He added that he has been appreciative of the current mayor’s decision to focus on a land acknowledgement of first peoples. While he said he’s not in favor of reciting the pledge at every single meeting, he agreed that there could be some reasonable compromise.

Bobis suggested doing both a land acknowledgement and the pledge. Gill said he would love to have the land acknowledgment, the pledge and a moment of silence.

Ultimately, the decision will be up to Mayor Scott Chaplin, who said he will take the comments under consideration.