Free to Believe: Why Students Shouldn’t Have to Stand for the Pledge


Kayla James

Featured: Ashley Coronado and Johnathan DeJesus

Brianna Oglesby, Staff Reporter

“Rules are absolute and must never be broken.” That type of thinking is only seen through the eyes of someone looking in black and white, but the world is gray. Let’s remember that this is the country where people are free to be themselves and believe what they want to believe, but forcing people to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance goes against the very essence of America. Also, if representatives of the law don’t even follow all the rules set for the flag, why should the public let them pick and choose which rules they have to follow? Yes, standing for the flag is seen as respectful, but I believe people shouldn’t be forced to stand because that’s what the American way is about: being yourself.

Your First Amendment rights include the freedom of religion and the freedom of assembly, both of which are a big part of the reason why people shouldn’t be forced to stand in the first place. The First Amendment states that Congress “may not abridge the free exercise of religion”, while the second states that Congress “can’t make laws that would stop the right of the people to assemble peacefully.” If the government were to pass a law that forced people to stand, that could potentially go against religions that deny the act of pledging allegiance to a flag. In addition, the people who believe the government is corrupt and who peacefully show their opinion by not standing would also have their freedom taken away from them.

The United States constantly breaks simple rules that were put in place for the flag etiquette. For example, a flag should never be used for advertisement purposes, yet one can constantly see it in commercials, ads, products, etc.. The flag should never be used as decoration, but when the 4th of July is near, I guarantee you’ll see the flag everywhere. Why should the government be able to choose which rules they want to follow, yet force the public to abide by them? This use of power isn’t right and the public should not allow it.

The United States is a place built on peace and acceptance of different kinds of people. If you were forced to stand, it would go against that very concept and that isn’t fair to a citizen. People who believe that everyone should stand for the Pledge argue that you aren’t being respectful to the country by not standing, yet forcing someone to stand does that exact thing. No matter what your personal opinion is, as long as nobody is being hurt, you should let people do what they want to do.