The Pledge of Allegiance is an Antiquated Tradition

The Pledge of Allegiance is an Antiquated Tradition

Katharine Cognard-Black, Staff Writer

Stand Please

A critical eye on something no one seems to notice; The Pledge of Allegiance

The pledge of Allegiance is an antiquated tradition. It is a subtle part of our day every day. You may not think there is anything special about the pledge, in fact you might not think about it at all, and yet you mindlessly repeat its words each and every day. Yes, patriotism is important, but not necessarily in our schools. In fact it has nothing to do with our education.

From elementary school to high school you stand every morning and say words you don’t contemplate, to the point where the morning bell has conditioned us all to stand on command. Why do we do this? Some say patriotism, but this reporter sees a little more in this seemingly innocuous tradition.  The pledge has invaded our subconscious, raising us to be good little patriots, good little Americans, good little warriors.

But beyond this, beyond controlling us over the years, the pledge has been pumping us with messages that are more than just patriotic. It has brought religion into an environment that I have been told time and time again is secular. There is supposed to be a separation of church and state, and yet we tell all our children to say that they are “under god” each morning. A very strong sentiment no one seems to question. And because of this, the pledge brings about mob mentality. Mob mentality describes the way individuals lose their individuality in a crowd. For example when crowds chant the same thing, people cannot rebel, people do not have to take responsibility for their actions, and people do not have to take account of what they are doing or saying. This is dangerous when it is coordinated by adults and it is even more so when it is coordinated by our government for our nation’s children.

Are you scared? I am. So are some students I talked to. Jason Ferris said, “With the separation of church and state I don’t understand why the school would force us every day to recite under god.” Another student Michael Miles says he’s “a bit uncomfortable that [I am] required to stand every day and put my hand over my heart and recite.”

Patriotism is an important facet of respecting our country, and it is good to support one’s homeland. But this respect should not be forced upon young students, and it should be in a medium that more clearly respects our country, rather than a god not everyone pays homage to.