City council member won't say Pledge of Allegiance

Says pledge is divisive and unneeded

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The Pledge of Allegiance continues to divide the Eugene City Council.

On Monday, Councilor George Brown declined to join his seven colleagues and Mayor Kitty Piercy in saying the oath at the council meeting.

It was the council's first recitation since voting 6-2 last month to say the pledge at meetings closest to four patriotic holidays annually — July 4, Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Flag Day.

In response to a question later, Brown acknowledged that to say the pledge would have been inconsistent with his earlier "no" vote. Councilor Betty Taylor also voted against saying the pledge either at every council meeting or four times a year. Both councilors said that reciting the pledge was divisive and unneeded.

But on Monday she joined in.

National coverage of the issue put Eugene in the spotlight. The Register-Guard reports that lots of largely angry e-mails and phone calls poured in, mainly from out-of-state residents who thought the council should say the pledge at every meeting.