Rising up for the flag isn’t an option or a choice, it’s mandatory!


Christianna Schiotis, Editor in Chief

Please rise for the pledge of allegiance, put your right hand over your heart, ready, salute: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which we stand, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
We rise because we were given freedom, and because we aren’t in a monarchy. Unlike other countries, we have freedom, we don’t have to wear certain clothes or be forced into religion. The United States is known for its opportunities and helping people in need. That is why our slogan is “Land of the free and home of the brave.” While everyone can agree there is room for improvement in our country, there is no country more free than ours.
We rise for the hopes and dreams and goals of our future generations. Children are taught the flag salute during their first years at school. They are also taught that they are the future; we need children to thrive for the future. When they recite the pledge every morning, they are promising our future, to be better than we were and to advance the U.S. as much as they can.
We stand for the flag salute because we love the opportunities we are given in this country: women are allowed to work wherever they please, children are allowed to pursue an education all the way through high school and even after. This country provides the most opportunities for anyone and everyone, which is why we have a high immigration status. The American Dream drives people of all nations to come here and live their lives free from tyranny and oppression.
When trying to become a legal citizen, you have to pass a series of tests. After those tests, they must state the Oath of Allegiance. This is to honor your rights as an American citizen. You are an American citizen, so why can’t you stand? Why can’t you stand for ten seconds and acknowledge you live in the best country on Earth?
In my second period class, after the bell rings, there is always an announcement stating, “Please rise for the pledge of allegiance.” Out of the 24 people in the class, including the teacher and myself, five of us stand and recite the salute. Everyday when they do that, I always wonder to myself, “why aren’t they standing?”
When you sit during the flag salute, you’re not supporting those who lost their lives for our freedom. My father is a second generation Air Force sergeant, so out of respect for him I stand- not just him, but for all the soldiers who have fought for our freedom and our rights. When I see people who don’t stand for the flag, it feels like they are disrespecting not just me, but the people who worked so hard for our rights that we have today. People don’t stop to realize that there were children who lost their fathers, mothers who lost their sons, wives who lost their husbands, all for what? Uneducated people to sit and disrespect them?
The system may have some flaws, but being ungrateful isn’t helping fix the problem; it is further dividing us.