A Choice to Stand for the Pledge


Photo by The Free Thought Project

Young students stand for the pledge.

The first time I was introduced to the Pledge of Allegiance was in kindergarten. Since then, I never did any research or wondered why the Pledge was recited, until now.

    Back then, I simply said the Pledge because that is what others around me were doing. In a way, reciting the Pledge was a lot like a big game of “follow the leader.” I did what everyone else was doing because that was the only thing I knew how to do being in kindergarten.

     According to the House Bill No. 170, every school in the state of Missouri is required to “ensure that the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America is recited,” if they are “supported in whole or in part by public monies.”

     This basically means that any school that is publicly funded, is required to have the pledge recited at some point during their school day. For most public schools, the Pledge is typically recited in the mornings. 

     The House Bill also states that, “no student shall be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.” 

     Therefore, because it is not a requirement to stand or recite the Pledge, not a lot of students do.

     I myself stopped taking part in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. I don’t see a purpose in standing for a Pledge that is overly outdated and wrong in so many ways.

    I now know why individuals in public schools are asked to stand for the Pledge, but I still don’t know what the Pledge itself stands for. If someone came up to me and asked me to tell them what the Pledge meant or to give them $10, I’d be short $10. 

     To me, the Pledge is like reading a book and not gaining anything from it. The only difference with the Pledge is that I used to recite it over and over, every morning at school. In other words, the Pledge is nothing but pointless repetition that’s engraved in my mind. 

     I get that it’s sort of like a promise to America, the “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.” However, if I am going to make a promise to something, I want to agree with what is being promised. In the last line of the pledge, it reads “liberty and justice for all.” What a joke. 

     There is racial discrimination, racial injustice, income gaps, and homophobia present all across America. All examples of injustice within themselves. If you want proof, just look at the news. 

  When the Pledge is broken down, the Pledge reads:

     I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America

     and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation

     under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

      The Pledge is constantly changing it’s words by adding new revisions but America isn’t changing it’s ways and should alter for the better. 

     There should be a call for new legislation on reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to where schools can have an option on whether or not they want to require their students to recite it, or completely take it out.