It’s Time To Take A Stand

Students need to realize the importance of standing for the pledge

NW Passage Staff

THE VOTE: 7 agree / 2 abstain / 5 disagree

The intercom buzzes as static echoes throughout the halls. Some eyes glued to the flag, others to their phones.

“One nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

After the daily announcements fly through the intercom, students get to make a choice: stand up or remain seated for the pledge of allegiance.

The pledge has been recited across America since 1892 as a way to honor our country. But sadly as times have shifted, so have the wills of students.

Opinions spark heated debates among an amalgam of media platforms. As teens, tweens, soccer moms and grandparents voice their beliefs behind the pledge.

Why has a pledge meant to symbolize unity ended up creating division?

Many see the pledge of allegiance as a government endorsement of religion. Which would violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

However according to Britannica (a British-American encyclopedia), diligent reading of the pledge of allegiance reveals “that we are not pledging allegiance to god. We are, instead, pledging allegiance to a republic.”

Injustices that are being recognized and protested in todays world such as police brutality, gender wage gaps and educational inequality have lead people to believe that America is a country unworthy of recognition.

And while educating yourself on injustices throughout our society is a must, it’s important to realize that the pledge of allegiance is by no means

praising our country’s history of oppression.

In fact quite the contrary.

It commends the bravery of soldiers who’ve preserved this country’s freedom for the past 248 years and counting, over 1.2 million of which have died in war.

And although it’s wording may be archaic, respect for the laws in ones country and its unity for which the flag stands isn’t a short-lived principle.

America, at it’s core, represents our freedom and individual liberty under a common law. When someone chooses to stay seated, they flippantly ignore those principles. When we stand for the flag, we aren’t pledging allegiance to specific political beliefs or even honoring past crimes, but honoring the vision that we have for the country.

The pledge of allegiance is meant to mark this country’s intentions for it’s people. It exists to remind us of what we stand for, even during times of oppression and injustice.

And even after taking all of this into account, it doesn’t mean there aren’t valid reasons to stay sitting.

America’s past, while far away, still effects it’s citizens and the fact of the matter is that forcing someone to stand completely disregards what the pledge even means.

But choosing to stand, not only acknowledges our progress and the cost of that progress, it also highlights our hope for the nation. It celebrates what we have, while advocating for positive change.

Not only does the pledge of allegiance honor our soldiers, our freedom and our country’s independence, it advocates for the continuous fight against modern injustices.