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The Pledge of Allegiance teaches patriotism

I consider myself a Patriot.

You know, someone who’s very proud to be an American.

Please understand that I’m not affiliating myself with any particular political party.

Truth be told, I think both Democrats and Republicans in positions of power have been acting like big goobers for the past, gosh, I don’t know, several years to say the least.

But I do believe that it’s incumbent on all of us to act like we live in the best country on the planet, especially because we do.

And that’s one reason I feel students in classrooms the nation over should be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance daily. Not only as a way to express patriotism and unity but also to honor the values and freedoms of the United States.

This daily ritual fosters a sense of national community and civic responsibility from a young age.

The Pledge of Allegiance, which reads: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” is often recited at public events and is commonly practiced in public schools, especially elementary schools.

Rightly so.

By repeating these words, children internalize the values of equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, echoing sentiments from the Declaration of Independence. It helps them understand what it means to be an American.

According to Wikipedia, the tradition of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance has deep historical roots.

Following the Civil War, an older generation aimed to teach patriotism to younger Americans, while also instilling a sense of national pride in new waves of immigrants.

Today, a total of 47 states require students to recite the pledge in school, although there are varying exceptions. While some people dispute the inclusion of the phrase “under God” in the pledge, it remains an enduring practice that continues to shape young minds and foster a connection to their country.

As a steadfast Catholic, I not only agree that “under God” is appropriate language but I also feel offended by those who wish to remove the phrase.

Our forefathers believed in the Almighty for a reason. It’s the same reason so many millions of humans do so today. He is real and all good and watches over our land and its inhabitants always and in all ways.

Period.

The rebellious states are as follows: California, Hawaii, Iowa, Vermont and Wyoming.

California? No surprise there. But the other four truly disappoint me.

Those 47 states also provide varying exemptions for students or staff who wish to opt out. The 1943 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. Barnette established that no school or government can compel someone to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or salute the flag. Nevertheless, states can still require it while offering exemptions.

Here’s a brief breakdown of states’ laws regarding the Pledge of Allegiance:

States with no pledge policy in place:

• Nebraska: Although there is no statute, the state’s school board required the Pledge of Allegiance to be recited at public schools effective in 2012.

• Wyoming

• Vermont

• Hawaii

States requiring the pledge with no clear exemptions:

• Georgia

• Kansas: While Kansas requires the pledge to be recited, oversight is left to the state’s Board of Education.

• Illinois

• New Mexico

• Nevada

• Massachusetts: Massachusetts has no clear exemption but failure to salute the flag and recite the pledge can result in a fine.

• California: Although California requires the pledge to be recited, oversight is left to individual school districts.

• Delaware: Delaware mandates the pledge’s recitation, and a bill to establish a clear exemption was tabled in a state legislature’s committee last year.

States requiring the pledge with stricter exemptions:

• Texas: Students in Texas must provide written notice from a parent or guardian to gain exemption.

• Florida: In Florida, a student must provide written notice from a parent or guardian to be exempted.

• Pennsylvania: Written notice from a parent or guardian is required for exemption in Pennsylvania.

• Utah: Students in Utah must provide written notice from a parent or guardian to opt out, but schools are required to inform students of this option.

Come on y’all. Just say the Pledge. It’s the least we can do for those who sacrificed so much for us to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, capisce?

Kimerer is a columnist who says the Pledge with pride. Contact her with your patriotic views at pkimerer@zoominternet.net.

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