Should the Pledge of Allegiance be in schools?

Tyra Christopherson and Sabrina Suen


For most American students, the Pledge of Allegiance is as second nature as brushing their teeth or saying their name. This honorary gesture to this nation we call home has become a familiar and often times tedious morning routine that is drilled into us from the time we’re kindergartners. Yet few of us actually understand the significance behind those well-recited words.
The Pledge is a symbol of pride, unity and symbolic endurance. It’s the common thread that binds us together as Americans; it’s the values that make up the foundation of this nation.
We must not forget that the Pledge is more than a symbol of allegiance, it is a banner of the ideals we as Americans have sought to live up to from the time of this nation’s founding. Our founding fathers promised a land of unachievable ideals, yet perhaps ideals are not meant to be achieved.
The promises of democracy, freedom and equality are things that we can never fully reach, but can also never stop striving for. Imbedded within the Pledge is this sacred promise to continue reaching for an unreachable perfection.
And though in recent years people have often questioned the political correctness of reciting the pledge in schools where students of all nationalities and religious orientations reside, the pledge is a crucial part of our national identity that should not be given up for the sake of sparing a few feelings.
Whether the pledge should be recited at schools is not a question of inclusion or diversity. Students are not legally bound to honor the flag, nor are they forced into reciting the Pledge. On the contrary, the Pledge of Allegiance, much like love and friendship, is an act of free will, sincerity and gratitude.
The reason we see the pledge with such a degree of negativity is because of this generation’s obsession with being inclusive.
Yet in this quest for all-mighty inclusion, it is essential that we don’t sacrifice our own identities, history, and culture.


Children with eyes glazed over stand still in a full classroom, their mouths moving in unison, emitting a monotone drone.
Sound like a horrific brainwashing session? Perhaps it is, yet this happens every day in schools across the nation as students recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Pledge, although valuable at one time, is outdated. It came into being in 1892, not too long after the Civil War. At such a fragile part of our nation’s history, it made sense to use the Pledge to create a feeling of unity among Americans, but today we aren’t a recovering, war-torn country. Our sense of unity is faring just fine.
Furthermore, the Pledge has become such a routine, monotonous part of our days that it is meaningless to students. They stand and recite the Pledge, but it’s a robotic, mindless motion. By saying it daily, we have stripped the Pledge of its significance.
Without the meaning behind it, the Pledge isn’t worthwhile. Undoubtedly, a patriotic attitude is important, but the Pledge no longer accomplishes this because students disregard the importance behind the words. People may say that they “pledge allegiance,” but it’s a hollow promise. When they mindlessly recite the words, their “pledge” means nothing, and because it’s empty, it’s a poor use of our time.
Next time you do the Pledge, look around. How many students still recite it? Most likely, many of your classmates have abandoned the daily ritual, and it’s probably out of a lack of interest. Students’ silence isn’t intentionally respectful either; rather than being thoughtfully quiet and courteous, many students use the time as an opportunity to let their minds wander.
While in an ideal world, the Pledge of Allegiance would be meaningful, I doubt we could get students everywhere to truly respect it as a daily ritual. Because we have overused it, the Pledge has lost its significance and is no longer worthwhile. Perhaps it would be more special if we recited the Pledge only at special events—such as assemblies and football games—but we should stop making the Pledge of Allegiance a regular part of our school day.