The flaws within the pledge of allegiance

Ava Brenden, Staffer

The Pledge of Allegiance brings me back to my younger days, when my biggest fear was memorizing my strings music and selling  bark chips as ice cream under the slide. The Pledge of Allegiance was part of my daily routine; every morning at Forest Hills Elementary School, the monotone voice of whoever was in charge that day would ring out: “I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America…” We all repeated in the same tone, with the same reluctance, our right hands crossed over our chests.

When I got to high school, I thought I had left things like the Pledge of Allegiance in the past. It was, after all, pretty irrelevant. We’ve all lived in America long enough to understand what it meant without needing to repeat it every morning. But this year, with the renewal of morning announcements on Monday and Friday mornings, we are occasionally subjected to repeating the dull and outdated chant. And this is very confusing to me for many reasons. 

The first thing is the fact that nobody actually stands for it, and very few people participate when it happens. I don’t know about all your classes, but in mine, most people just look bored or glance at the flag as a sort of mutual agreement  and go back to their  phones. Frankly, it’s unimportant to most, and the majority of  students just seem to tune it out. And I get the importance of national pride, but I have yet to hear a compelling argument as to why we should be wasting 30 seconds on the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Another argument against doing the Pledge every morning is the religious connotations and issues with the actual Pledge, specifically the line, “One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.” While the use of “under God” is constitutional (as it is not a prayer), many students who identify with other religions or no religion may not feel comfortable with this. Similarly, “liberty and justice for all” is kind of like saying that “all men are created equal” in America. I’m not entirely sure that is true, and is sort of playing into the idea that America is the pinnacle of equality, democracy and everything just. 

But who knows. Maybe I’m just reading into this too much. To me, the Pledge of Allegiance is simply a nuisance that no one really participates in that wastes valuable time in class. I understand announcements, and even the National Anthem to some extent, but the Pledge of Allegiance is an outdated practice that really accomplishes nothing, and I doubt that anyone would miss it if it disappeared from our lovely morning announcements.