Should You Stand for The Pledge of Allegiance?

Mariella Schermerhorn, Editor

For over one hundred years, people all over the U.S. have been pledging their allegiance to their country’s flag. Starting with the iconic phrase, “I pledge allegiance to the flag…” while everybody stands up, right hand on their beating heart. It’s taught from the early ages of kindergarten or even preschool when kids are three to five. However, it seems as though many from this recent generation have taken the liberty to sit during the pledge, something that is out of the ordinary since they’ve been standing for most of their lives. Many people have begun to debate whether or not sitting for the pledge is considered disrespectful, but regardless, there has been a big trend among high school students to sit down.

After a poll conducted on my Instagram to interview my peers, exactly sixteen of them answered. Those who answered most likely greatly cared about the issue, but I was still surprised at the results, expecting the majority of the voters to choose the option of standing. However, the poll was equally distributed between sitting and standing; eight of them decided to sit, and the other half chose to stand. But from observation in the classroom, there is no doubt that the majority of the student body stands to honor the pledge. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve seen more and more students sitting, and it’s become a norm to do so. 

According to Nand Patel, a senior at Fruita Monument High School, he stands because, “While I do recognize the flaws of the nation, I still stand for a better future.”

Contrasting that statement, Adele Foley, another senior and Fruita Monument, states, “When “Liberty and Justice for all” is applied to everyone, I will stand.”

Both statements are 100% valid and respectful to the other side’s opinion, not one being more true than the other. This nation undoubtedly should be respected, especially those who have fought for the freedoms that we now have today. Millions of soldiers have sacrificed their lives, so it seems the least we as Americans can do is stand for them and honor them.

However, going back to Adele’s statement, not everyone has had the same liberties and/or justice in this country, as is stated in the Pledge. Many minorities find that this country still holds prejudice against them, and that this country still has a long way to go in that respect. The Pledge has so many phrases that can be picked apart and be used to form the basis of someone’s opinion. The first time I witnessed someone sit for the pledge was in Elementary school, when the kid refused to stand because the Pledge states, “One nation under God.” He told the teacher that it was because he didn’t believe in God, and that his parents were Atheists. I remember vividly that the teacher grew annoyed, and forced the boy to stand, but not make him put his hand on his heart.

Even then, I thought, “Well that boy deserved the right to sit down, that is his freedom of speech.” That teacher, regardless of their beliefs, should not have forced the boy to stand. Many different people have many different reasons why they should or shouldn’t stand, and all of them are valid because of that person’s experience. 

Whether or not you chose to stand or sit during the pledge is your own choice, but it’s when you push your personal belief on others on forcing them to stand or not is the problem. Everyone has their own personal freedoms and their own opinions on the matter, all of which should be respected, especially when doing so does not hurt other people.