llinois Republicans are a patriotic bunch. They start their meetings with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the nations unofficial loyalty oath. And so it was last week when Republican Party leaders met at a Springfield hotel prior to attending Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair. Republican county chairmen (party leaders, not county board leaders) held a meeting and prepared to recite the pledge. Oops. There was no flag in the room for them to face while reciting. What to do? Why, call on a fellow named Gene to come to the rescue. Gene was wearing a shirt decked out in an American flag pattern. He came forward, and the group of assembled Republicans pledged allegiance to his shirt. You have to wonder how conservatives would have reacted had Democrats done the same thing. Windy City Watch: Illinois GOP forgets flag so they Pledge Allegiance to Gene, a man in an American flag t-shirt.