Children should swear an oath of allegiance to enhance a shared sense of citizenship, ministers propose. Readers have suggested their own wording for a very British oath - some serious and some not.
Coming to a school near you
I make a personal pledge to respect my fellow citizens, regardless of race, gender, or religion, and to uphold the laws of Great Britain. In so doing I acknowledge my personal responsibility to contribute to the country I have chosen to call my own.
Lynne Killeen, Brentwood, Tennessee, USA
Come on Tim.
Peter Douglas, Edinburgh
I swear to uphold the sovereignty and security of this United Kingdom. I shall endeavour to be mindful of the actions of others and be ever vigilant against those who would do us harm. I accept these obligations and responsibilities as a member of this sovereign nation, which I do affirm and swear to be a true and honest statement. As a citizen of the United Kingdom I shall behave honourably and do no wrong, knowing full well the consequences of such actions. I swear this oath. I shall abide by the rules and laws of state, and accept full responsibility for my actions, and inactions. For England and St George.
Stuart Lanigan, Coventry. England
On my honour,
I promise that I will do my best,
And politely applaud when others do their best,
Even when it isn't really good enough,
So help us God.
Peter Douglas, Edinburgh
I swear to cross my fingers
I pledge my oath of allegiance to my Queen and my country. I promise to watch all reality TV and to emulate those that are put before us as examples of fine citizens. I will honour all sporting figures and raise them upon pedestals until such times as they make an error where upon I will pillory them and mock them to the ends of the earth. As an upstanding member of British society I vow to claim as much social benefit as possible to ensure that my binge drinking does not sink to sub-standard levels. But most importantly, and over everything else, I swear that I will not take myself, or my country, too seriously because I am proud to be British and that is how we do it.Kiltie Jackson, Staffs, UK
I pledge allegiance to the country that feeds me, that shelters me, that heals me, that educates my children. I promise to uphold the laws of this, my land, whether I was born to it, or chose to come here. I promise that, first and foremost, I will do no harm to any other citizen of this land, by action or inaction, and I hereby give my word.
Sara, London, England
I promise to obey the laws of the land and to respect all citizens of the United Kingdom. I promise to uphold the traditions and values that made this country what it is today. I will respect the freedom of all individuals to believe or not to believe in a God.
Bob Slater, Stockport
I swear to always brew my tea with as much sugar as I can get away with, to provide burned bangers and mash to all those who dwell in my lodging and to stay true to the word of our prophet, Jamie Oliver.
I pledge my allegiance to our realm and its dreadful weather, inefficient councils, incompetent government, failing schools, a declining NHS, our deep suspicion of foreigners and a celebrity obsessed media. Because it might all be rubbish but at least it's OUR rubbish and NO-ONE's got a right to rubbish us except ourselves.
Michael Duffy, Southport
I, (name), do hereby pledge fealty to the dynasty of the monarchy we imported, the wind perpetual, rain eternal and sun somewhat transient; the various deities we all question through sense, the archetypal xenophobia from the 40s we shall e'er humour, the accents assumed by our old identity, lest our upper lips quiver in modernity; the use improper of the word "like", the use unperturbed of hypocrisy and the use unabetted of alcohol; the transport impunctual, the strikes ineffectual and the cynicism unerring that graces our dysfunctional nation state and our nation's dysfunctional state, here in her Britannic Majesty's Divided Kingdom, right down to the asymmetrical flag we sadistically make children struggle to draw the red lines on correctly. I, (name), do furthermore, for when the age of 60 or early retirement I do attain, pledge fealty to the dynasty of the travel agents in advance, where I shall get the next plane out of here, to ridicule the rat race from a safe distance.
Ed Neal, Bristol, UK
I (state your name) swear and/or affirm (stated that way) that I rather like being in Britain and will try to be a bit less embarrassed about the fact that I am British. I also would like to say that I rather like/dislike (choose one) the monarchy in spite of/because of (choose one) their inability to keep out of the news for the wrong reasons. Furthermore while I am pro-Europe/Eurosceptical (choose one) this does not in any way reflect anything against the current government that may or may not reflect my views on this and various other issues I feel are important such as, but not limited to, council taxes, the National Health and the current state of the railway. So help me God/Allah/Yaweh/Vishnu/The Current Monarch/Bob Geldof (choose as many that apply).
Gregg Barkley, Richmond, Virginia, USA
I swear by whatever deity I may or may not believe in that I will follow the example of those that rule over me.
I will ignore whatever laws I choose.
I will avoid paying taxes whenever possible and seek to grab as much expense money for myself and my family as possible.
I will behave like a spoiled brat when I visit the houses of parliament.
I will steal other peoples land and set myself and my children up as royalty.
I will declare war against whoever I don't like and lie to justify it.
If anyone votes for me based on the policies I set before them, I will ignore all inconvenient policies thereafter in the full knowledge that they will vote for me next time anyway.
I will also ignore this oath as, in this day and age, no-one pays any attention to the promises they make.Martin, Stevenage, UK
I swear... infrequently and normally in the privacy of my own home, which is where I also disregard other cultures' opinions and loosen my upper lip. I am British...
Darren Stacey, Cheltenham
In the US, oaths are more common
I'm not British, English or anything other than human, I belong to one race - the human race, I worship no god, and kneel before no false monarch, I'm a free human and shall do what I please with no regard to the laws set in place by the Roman usurpers that invaded our shores.Steve Jones, Nottingham
I swear to form a queue, to solve problems with a hot, brown drink, and to question authority. I will joke with strangers, and welcome newcomers. The past is to be respected, and the pompous are not to be tolerated. Britain is a crowded place, so I will not wave my arms about too much. In the name of the pillar box, and the weather, and the jam roly-poly. Hurrah!
Mike, Rochester, Kent
I swear to be true to the Queen (or King) of England (even though I'm Welsh) and to never watch her speech on Christmas Day because there's always a good film on the other channel. I promise to moan constantly about the weather, the price of fuel, Americans and how much better things were 10/20/30 years ago. I will not leave my bag unattended on a railway station. I pledge allegiance to the flag of Ikea and can't wait for the next series of Dr Who which is very British and also made in Wales. I will not accept foreign currencies nor will I weigh items in grams when pounds are perfectly adequate.
Wags, Tywyn Gwynedd
I swear allegiance to humanity, to the values expressed by the UN Charter and vow to uphold the Human Rights of all people in accordance with its precepts.
Lorna McAllister, Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire
I solemnly swear to fill my words with silent letters, to queue with decorum, to complain about the weather no matter what it is and to always, always, pronounce the 'h' at the start of 'herb'. In doing so do I pledge allegiance to the worst country in the world (except for France, America, Germany, Spain, China, Estonia...)
Joseph Wells, Norwich, England
"I promise that I will read a tabloid every day, I will accept everything it says without question and ensure that I do my duty to winge and complain about everything it tells me to, even if it is entirely made up, unless it is about Her Majesty the Queen."
Darren Maxwell, Dumfries, Scotland
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Constitution and its laws, one Nation, with liberty, justice and equality for all.
Darren Sharrocks, Manchester
I pledge my allegiance to tat and Tesco. To grotty backstreets and overpriced houses. To the aristocracy owning the land our fathers fought to preserve. To the lack of community and public transport. To the Royal Family.
Isabella Jackman, Germany