Protesting the pledge

Exercising the first amendment in school


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

The Pledge of Allegiance is debated in many schools across the country. We as a people should decide what really is important to Americans, not as a whole but as a people with differing opinions.

Amelia Fitzpatrick, Staff Reporter

Standing for the Pledge of Allegiance has been a debate for the past 20 years. The people who are against it debate whether our country is really free, or against things that happen politically or socially. People who are for the pledge, stand because of veterans, loyalty and to educate future generations. We are also allowed to make our own decisions on what we choose to do. 

While all this makes sense, standing for the flag to me is not just a symbol of loyalty. It’s a symbol of the time to come and hope in our society. But yet, I still believe that not standing for the flag is understandable and should not be frowned upon.

Generation Z and Millennials” are known to call out issues that happen inside of America. For example, police brutality against Black Americans, LGBTQ+ harassment and climate change. In June, 2020 we saw first hand the change that is required in the world. The protests were a way to show that there are. So it’s very easy with these issues for people to lose their pride in America. I believed that if people had a reason to not do the pledge, it is an okay reason to not. So I decided to ask around my family and friends to see if our opinion differs. The collective agreement we came to, as a war veteran, mother, father and student was that protesting was a valid reason to not stand for the flag. 

In the case of protesting, we as a people, have the right to debate our choices and demand basic human needs. Generation Z are a very progressive group of people because they constantly make sure people who are different are now put into daily life and it’s a normal thing.. So it makes sense that we are protesting, say slightly more than the millennial generation. Not standing for the flag is a peaceful and non-dangerous way to bring issues to the world. 

In the past 10 years people have started protesting against the pledge. Feb. 4, 2019, a sixth grade student was arrested for refusing to stand for the pledge. He stated that he believed the pledge is representative of racism. The sixth grader was apparently not arrested because of the pledge, it was a disruption in the school. NCAC responded saying that the school needed to remember their students’ rights. 

With the upcoming 20th anniversary of 9/11, it’s necessary to stand for the flag to show resilience in America. I would advise that there is a time and a place to show your views on modern day society except when we mourn and celebrate the lives of people lost. That should be a sign of respect and understanding. 

According to Doug Criss from CNN who made an article called ‘Here’s why students don’t have to recite the pledge of allegiance’, people have the right to skip out on the pledge. Criss says that it’s not legally required and forced on people is against the First Amendment. I agree that people can stand, sit or simply not acknowledge the pledge. There is a time and place for protesting, and another time for respect. 

The World has many flaws and the United States is not immune to those issues. We are constantly tested by people with different beliefs, especially in a country that is named the melting pot; we can understand that everyone will not agree. We need people to exercise their rights so we are all putting. They can choose the time, place and issue. If there is an issue with respect, inform them on what they did wrong. As we move into the future we should debate things, but we must never lose our appreciation  for other people’s free will and opinion.