Taking a stand

Why I stand for the Pledge of Allegiance

by Kyle Gehman, Editor-In-Chief

As third period begins everyone is talking about how nervous they are for the test we are about to take, that they can’t believe the homework is due today and about that new movie they’re going to see with their girlfriend after school. But then the loudspeaker gives those three beeps, students stand, put their hands over their hearts and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Ever since we’ve been in school we’ve been told to do this but lately some students and Americans around the nation have decided not to in protest of a variety of reasons. These Americans have been under attack from different people including their peers on social media with rude and hateful comments for what they freely believe in. But, while I respect them for doing what they see as the right thing to do and acknowledge these protests as freedoms protected by our Constitution, I stand for my flag for a reason not just because it’s what other people around me are doing in class.

When I hear the Pledge of Allegiance I’m standing and reciting the pledge to display the loyalty I have to my country and the belief I have in what it stands for and does for its citizens. I am showing the utmost respect I have for the country that provides a free education for me, freedoms not even conceivable in other countries and that works to protect me. Looking at the flag I know that I am free to criticize any politician we have, I know that I can stop and pray in whatever language about any religion wherever I want and I know that as a journalist I can write about anything with whatever viewpoint I want. I stand because I know what my country means to me and I know why I love it.

“Freedom and justice for all” may not be true today but that’s no reason to not stand. To me saying that is the aspiration for freedom and justice for all. “To the Republic for which it stands” is a pledge to the United States for what it stands for not necessarily what it is today. No one and no country is perfect but that doesn’t mean it can’t attempt to be.

While I fully understand that the America we pledge to isn’t the one we all want and envision, it is still a country of prosperity and hope for other countries. The racist, hateful and disgusting crimes that are committed to all races are acts of individuals and groups that don’t always reflect our country’s morals and values. I’m standing for the people and institutions that work towards change, not the people who disrespect others and are unjust. I don’t stand for killers, racists, or people who say inappropriate things. I respect other people’s decisions not to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance but I know exactly why I stand.