Why do We Stand, or not Stand, for the Pledge of Allegiance?


Karina Shah

A flag waving in a Yorba Linda High School Classroom that gets pledged to everyday.

Karina Shah, Editor

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.


Said everyday during our morning announcements, as it is at most schools within the United States, the Pledge of Allegiance is a bold statement of American patriotism. Ever since kindergarten, we have been told that it is normal to recite this daily. It is something that we have eventually become accustomed to; why are we pledging allegiance to our country daily?

The Pledge of Allegiance was created in the late nineteenth century by Francis Bellamy, a pastor, to create a pledge that can be adapted to any country. In 1923, the words, “the Flag of the United States of America” were added. Causing this to be the official wording of the American National Pledge. Section 4 of the Flag Code states: “The Pledge of Allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.” (ushistory.org). Mr. Honig (Staff), the AP government teacher at YLHS comments on this matter that “the forms of protest throughout American history have always been controversial; ranging from burning a draft card to burning the flag.”

Those who stand for the Pledge say it is to honor those who have died in war; they feel that soldiers are given respect with these actions. Overall, the act of standing and reciting the pledge is a symbol for the united nation of America, regardless of political beliefs. When talking about the matter of justice, the act of standing is a salute to the idea that America gives the opportunity of justice. In addition, many people who are considered more conservative use the pledge to show their allegiance, as the pledge says itself, to the United States of America. 

Although a good amount of people have been under protest of the Pledge of Allegiance for many years, the beginning of the new wave of controversy most recently started with Colin Kaepernick. A former NFL football player, Kaepernick was exposed under the attention of national news after he knelt during the national anthem at the start of a NFL game to protest police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. This is the most common reason to protest the Pledge. Overall, those who protest the pledge do so for the reason of political protest. Although many continue their respect for the country, they use their actions as a symbol of criticism of the actions done in order to protect the rights of every citizen. Since Kaepernick’s actions, many people have used sitting for the pledge or national anthem as their way to demonstrate that they are in a peaceful protest to this country’s actions. 

The issue is an extremely controversial issue that contains the actions which take place all across America daily. So next time you hear the words, “Please rise for the Pledge of Allegiance”, consider the reason that you are standing, or not.