Let’s Talk About the Pledge

The pledge is quite a controversial topic.

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Let’s Talk About the Pledge

Lily Flynn, Journalist

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Do you participate during the pledge? Have you thought about why you may, or may not stand for the pledge? Well, I’m here to talk a little bit about it.

Way back in 1892, the pledge of allegiance was adopted and written by Francis Bellamy, a socialist minister. At first, the pledge was shorter, it had read,

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Much shorter, right? Later in 1923 they had added, “the Flag of the United States of America”. It is now written as,

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Which was the then full speech.

Then, in 1954, president Eisenhower added to the pledge, “under god,” which all in total made the pledge a 31-word speech.

Flash forward 62 years, and Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the 49ers, is kneeling during the national anthem. Colin claims that he kneeled to protest against the treatment racial minorities have been receivingĀ  from the past years, and even now today.

“I am not going to stand up and show pride in a flag that oppresses black people and people of color,” Colin said to NFL media after a past game where he had kneeled. After his protest, not many other teams accepted or wanted Kaepernick to play in their games.

Later, more everyday people started to not stand for the pledge due to our current president Donald Trump, as another act of protest against him. For example, another popular athlete Megan Rapinoe, who is one of the many champions in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Megan is also not only an outstanding athlete but an activist as well, speaking out against social inequality in our country. She had followed in the protest actions that Colin had once did, kneeling, sometimes standing but not quite putting her right hand over her heart.

Not just athletes protest, tons of adults, teens, and even kids don’t stand. Some schools require students to stand as respecting past veterans who have fought for our country. One teen at a high school in Texas was suspended because she refused to stand during the pledge like all her other classmates. A first grader decided to kneel during the pledge of allegiance, and was then reprimanded after in front of the other students, according to another article. There is a growing history of students that refuse to stand, in protest of many different reasons.

 

Now, there’s also a good amount of people in the U.S. that rise for the flag. The answers may vary, but the most popular is to honor those who sacrificed themselves for our country. I know we may not think about this everyday, but many soldiers passed away to fight for our freedom.

I interviewed Gavin Lewellen and Brayden Price, two seventh graders here at Catharine Blaine. They both stand for the pledge of allegiance, and respect the flag.

The first question I asked them, is what is one of the reasons they stood for the pledge.

Gavin: “I stand for the pledge of allegiance because it’s respectful to our great nation,”

Brayden: “Cause my step-brother is in the army, and I think that it is respectful to him.”

“What is your opinion about the pledge?” I asked, which was my second question.

Gavin: “I think that the pledge is a great thing, and they shouldn’t change it, unless they make it more epic.”

Brayden: “I think that more people should stand for the pledge.”

My third and last question was, What do you have to say to the people who don’t stand for the pledge?

Brayden: “It’s your choice whether you want to stand for the pledge or not.”

Gavin: “I’m not going to stop you if you don’t, but I’m always going to stand.”

 

 

Sources:

Colin Kaepernick protests anthem over treatment of minorities

 

 

http://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm

https://educationpost.org/im-a-teacher-and-i-stopped-saying-the-pledge-of-allegiance-a-long-time-ago/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/02/17/florida-sixth-grader-charged-with-misdemeanor-after-refusing-recite-pledge-allegiance/