In West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, the verdict was that being forced without choice to stand for the flag for the pledge violated our First Amendment, freedom of speech.
Even though we are no longer forced to stand for the pledge, there is still a decision if we want to stand or not and what that means about our viewpoints and what we believe.
Should we Stand for the Flag or Abstain?
There is a third option that many students are making more and more. To simply not care and ignore the meaning and choice of standing or not for the pledge.
Christin Moenning, American history teacher, said, “I would love to see a lot more engagement from students.”
“Whether that is standing out of patriotism and respect for the many great things that our nation has done for its citizens. Or abstaining because you don’t agree with the pledge,” said Moenning.
Moenning described how students should thoughtfully approach if they decide if they want to stand or not.
“Yes, the U.S. government has made mistakes and disproportionately marginalized and harmed others,” said Moenning. “But as a democracy, you can stand for what you believe in and those who have served our country.”
Tonya Eastman, Civics teacher, said, “I think people don’t stand because no one else is standing, and they don’t want to be the one who is standing, peer pressure.”
Eastman stated that once a few people start standing others will too and there needs to be a sort of leader who starts.
Eastman comments on how politics has made standing for the pledge controversial and that people can also choose not to stand because of their political stance.
I believe the most disrespectful thing is not being interested in making a decision.
You can choose to stand or not but making that decision based on what you believe in is important. It’s fundamental we acknowledge the history and future when making this decision.
I also believe that peer pressure is common, and students only decide to stand if others are standing too because they do not want to stand alone.
But those who can stand alone in their beliefs are the strongest for upholding what they believe.
Choosing how you want to proceed with the Pledge of Allegiance is entirely your choice. I suggest being strong in your decision-making. Know where you stand and don’t let others decide for you.
I’m Abby and like fashion, music, reading, and nature. Fun fact: I own over 20 plants.