All Rise for the Pledge of Allegiance

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All Rise for the Pledge of Allegiance

Hannah Kragel

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The Pledge of Allegiance has been a classroom tradition for generations, but it has
recently become a sort of right of passage for edgy teens to withhold from participation and
renounce America, and American values. More alarmingly is the praise these “brave” individuals
receive for this blatant act of disrespect which only serves to demonstrate the ignorance and
ungrateful attitude of the modern teen.
The disregard for the cultural significance shows the lack of understanding for what the
Pledge of Allegiance means. Discussing with students who elect to refrain from saying the
pledge one will receive weak rationals such as: “I don’t approve of the current administration,” “I
cannot do the pledge because I disagree with (insert specific issue)” “I don’t see the point in
pledging to a flag,” all of which outline a common misconception surrounding the Pledge of
Allegiance. An ungodly number of people believe that the Pledge is inherently tied to the
government, that by refusing to stand, one is protesting their actions or displaying their
discontentment. This, however, is false. The Pledge of Allegiance is symbolic of pledging one’s
allegiance.
Allegiance, which is defined as: loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of
an individual to a group or cause, refers not to the allegiance to the government, but to the
Country, the ideals and principals it was founded on, and the rights and securities that America
provides. America is unique in the fact that it was fortunate enough to inherit the arts and
distinct european cultures, as well as to be a country built on values and individualism rather
than ethnicity. During the Revolutionary War, colonists, not just from England, but also Spain,
Portugal, Italy, France, as well as other countries, banded together in order to “form a more
perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,
promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,”
sentiments that were addressed in the Constitution, contained in the Pledge of Allegiance, and
still live on today.
When one partakes in the Pledge of Allegiance, they are declaring that they believe in
these values, that these ideals; “liberty and justice for all” are worth striving for. They are
declaring that they believe that everyone deserves these rights, that they stand by our valiant
troops who risk their lives to ensure that these ideals live on. That they appreciate the militia
that defends the freedom of speech, and ultimately the privilege to sit during the Pledge. When
one participates in the Pledge they demonstrate that these liberties are not simply inherited, but
won, through sacrifice and selflessness, generation after generation.