Pledge of Allegiance becomes unnecessary with new law


Senior Boone Palipatana says the pledge which now required to be said everyday in public schools.

art by Joanna Yu
Colors of red, white and blue fly across the nation in schools, stadiums and most other public places. Representing strength, purity and justice, the flag of the United states embodies the ideals of this nation. Since kindergarten, we have pledged allegiance to it.
Francis Bellamy, the creator of the Pledge of Allegiance, had a goalto spark nationalism in the minds of U.S. citizens, according to Having faith in one’s country and reminding one’s self of the ideals of the nation is a noble goal, but it is not a reminder that is required every day.
At face value, it seems the recently passed HB 1750 requires Missouri students attending a federally funded school to say the Pledge of Allegiance every day. In reality, according
to Rep. Shane Roden, the sponsor of the bill, the law “requires the school to allow time [for the Pledge] each day,” but not necessarily a daily recitation.
This loophole allows for RBHS not to announce the Pledge of Allegiance every morning — a decision, or accident, made wisely. While Roden and other legislators passed the law in good faith, saying the Pledge in school every day is unnecessary and keeping it to the original routine of once per week was sufficient to fulfill the Pledge’s purpose.
Many people, however, completely oppose saying the Pledge. Most famously, Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, sits or kneels during the National
Anthem in protest of a flag of a country that he says oppresses minorities. People have this right, as decided in the 1943 court case West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, according to Oyez, an archive of Supreme Court cases run by the Chicago-Kent College of Law; however, this court decision cannot protect from ridicule and judgment cast
onto the person who chooses to sit during the Pledge.
Thus, the daily recitation of the Pledge presents people with a choice: Stand for something they don’t believe in or be judged for what they do.
That’s not to say reciting the Pledge is negative. Standing for the Pledge often means taking pride in the United States, regardless of the problems that exist. It means paying respect
to those who have served and currently serve in the military, defending the United States and
its values. The words of the Pledge belong to all U.S. citizens, uniting us in moments of chaos, reminding us of the freedoms that we receive.
The Pledge is a reminder of the freedoms given by the nation. It serves as a remembrance of the many wars fought and progress that has been made throughout the history, to improve the United States — a reminder of how the nation lives on. Still, it’s also a reminder that
doesn’t need to be recited every day. When faced with the Pledge of Allegiance every day, most people don’t realize its importance. Instead, it becomes routine, something to say
without bothering to comprehend the weight of the words one speaks.
Thus, reciting the Pledge once a week, the way it was before the passage of HB 1750, was the perfect balance between protecting the beliefs of all students and citizens as well as respecting the traditions and history of the nation. While RBHS utilizes the loophole, other Missouri schools may not see that one exists; however, returning to this happy medium
may be easier than one thinks. The state representatives are only a call or an email away, and with their assistance, the schools of Missouri can once again become a place of learning,
not of political debate.