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Why the Pledge of Allegiance is Outdated

American flag in classroom (Avery Colinas)

Every day, we start out the announcements with the Pledge of Allegiance. We learned this in elementary school as a requirement, and continue to do it till the end of high school. The pledge came about in 1892, and started being used in schools later that same year. Back then, it made sense as a matra of country pride, considering we only gained independence a hundred years earlier. But now, 250 years after we gained independence, is the Pledge of Allegiance still necessary?

The Pledge of Allegiance has gone through multiple updates over the years, but one of the most prominent and controversial ones is adding “under god” to the pledge. This change occurred in the 50’s during the Red Scare. In order to try to urge US citizens away from communism, President Eisenhower added “under god” to the pledge of allegiance in order to push that communists had a lack of morality or “godliness.” This addition actually goes against the Constitution, because in the Constitution, American citizens have freedom of religion and freedom from religion. So, having this said daily to every student in every school in the U.S. technically goes against the Constitution that we as Americans cherish so much. 

Another issue that goes along with the Pledge is it’s not even true. The line “with liberty and justice for all” is not very true now, and was by no means true then. The Pledge of Allegiance was written pre-Civil Rights movement, before the 19th Amendment, which was the amendment that gave women the right to vote and way before the Stonewall Riots took place, which was one of the first big movements for the LGBTQ+ community. So “liberty and justice for all” really meant liberty and justice for every white straight male who was not a suspected communist. Obviously, we have made great strides in equality, but to truly have “liberty and justice for all,” we still have a lot of work to do, and simply saying we all have liberty and justice is more wishful thinking than the actual truth. 

The Pledge of Allegiance also just simply weirdly takes away freedom from a country that says they cherish it so much. Saying “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America” at the beginning of every day seems like we are being forced into allegiance with a country. It seems like a scary dystopian world where we teach kids from a young age to salute the flag, which in turn pushes the idea that America is the best country and the “land of the free.” Which isn’t true, but this all leads to the toxic and embarrassing patriotism that the US is known for. 

Most adults continue to say that the only reason kids these days don’t like to stand and recite the pledge is because “the new generation doesn’t have any respect” but it goes deeper than that. Yes, the Pledge of Allegiance used to be a valuable and endearing salute to our new nation, but now it is just outdated words that we have failed to measure up to.

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About the Contributor
Avery Colinas
Avery Colinas, Journalist
I'm currently in 9th grade, and my favorite things to do are write and listen to music. I mostly enjoy fiction writing and poetry but I am also excited to write journalism.

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    Carla BessonetteApr 18, 2024 at 9:21 am

    Great article! The topic is very timely and also a good example of argumentative writing. This topic is something we talk about in my language arts classes.