Since I was a child, the public schools trained me to stand up and say “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America”. I didn’t know that 46 states require public schools students to recite it regularly. I also didn’t know that I had the right to decline participation.
The Supreme Court case, West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette, ruled that students couldn’t be punished for failing to recite the pledge of allegiance. At an early age, I became accustomed to getting spankings for disobeying authority. Sadly, even if I knew about my right, I still would have recited it to avoid getting a spanking.
In addition, I wondered why we had to pledge allegiance and hear the national anthem during college basketball games. Maybe the law’s definition of “public schools” include public colleges and universities. So, I decided to dissect the pledge of allegiance to determine why most people stare at the flag with their right hand over their heart.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Unfortunately, the second half of the statement isn’t true. I don’t believe repeating something that isn’t true.
You can agree or disagree about being one nation under God. Perhaps, you may choose not to recite the pledge of allegiance because you’re an Atheist or Agnostic. You have that right!
The next word after God is indivisible. Are we indivisible? Between the day of 9/11/2001 and the last day of that month, our country appeared to be indivisible. It wasn’t about being Democrat or Republican. It was about being American. Can you tell me a more recent time where 75-80% of Americans were unified in love, peace, and happiness?