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I Choose to Pledge Allegiance

Ari Houston, Features Editor

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Welcome to the land of the free and the home of the brave where there is liberty and justice for all. These iconic phrases outline what has become the nation’s motto: The pledge of allegiance.

Now let’s take a stroll down memory lane for a second and see why the pledge was created in the first place. The pledge was made by Francis Bellamy over 100 years ago in response to the “crisis of loyalty” that was the Civil War. Now over that 100+ year gap there have been minor tweaks to the pledge. But the meaning is still the same.

I am pledging my allegiance to the flag that protects me and my fellow citizens and under this flag I have important rights that define my worth as a citizen. As an American. As a human.

But the problem is that not everyone actively follows the beliefs in this mantra.

How can we be “indivisible” when our country couldn’t be more divided at the moment? How can we have “liberty and justice for all” when there are riots with racists, sexists and homophobes (depending on which movement you look at) against anyone who has said “I don’t care what you think.”

On to more local and recent events, the older students in our school may remember the uproar that took place almost three years ago. The argument was about the pledge of allegiance being spoken in different languages, like Chinese, Spanish and French, on the morning announcements. But this was taken down because some students complained that doing this was unpatriotic.

New Flash: This wasn’t an attack against America. This was students in our own school showing how much they had learned in their foreign language class.

Let’s look at this from another angle. If an American travelled to Mexico, North or South Korea, Russia, China or even Poland saying that country’s mantra in English may be seen as offensive. Not that there is anything wrong with these countries but the reason why America was created was so that we would be different from them. We would be the exception. We would be a place where no one was afraid to express their ideas and freedom.

How are we supposed to stand up for liberty and justice when we won’t even stand up for valid injustices taking place in our own cities?

Nothing will get done if no ideas are expressed between people. Nothing will get done if the country divides itself because of microscopic problems that plague the American way of life.

Nothing ever gets done by making mountains out of molehills.

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I Choose to Pledge Allegiance