that recited in schools across the us every work by students standing stiffly with their hand over their hearts.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag the the United says of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, v liberty and justice because that all.”

The Pledge of Allegiance has actually been a component of American life because 1892, as soon as it an initial appeared in a magazine to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the voyage of Christoper Columbus come America.

however the patriotic oath, despite its ubiquity, is not a legitimate requirement. Student don’t have to recite it.

Why? it violates the very first Amendment, i beg your pardon protects complimentary speech.

The pledge make headlines this week after a sixth-grade college student in Florida told a substitute teacher he would certainly not was standing for the pledge due to the fact that he thought the American flag symbolized discrimination versus blacks. (He was arrested, return police stated it was because he started a disturbance in ~ the school, not since he wouldn’t participate in the pledge.)




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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: one American flag waves external the United says Capitol structure as Congress continues to be gridlocked over legislation to continue capital the federal federal government September 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. The house of to represent passed a proceeding resolution through language come defund U.S. Chairman Barack Obama"s national health and wellness care arrangement yesterday, yet Senate bulk Leader bother Reid has indicated the U.S. Senate will not consider the legislation as happen by the House. (Photo by success McNamee/Getty Images)

The instead of teacher didn’t recognize that students can’t be compelled to get involved in the pledge, the school district said. That’s been true due to the fact that 1943, as soon as the can be fried Court rule in the case of West Virginia State plank of education and learning v. Barnette the students can not be required to salute the us flag or say the pledge due to the fact that doing so would violate their very first Amendment rights.

“If over there is any type of fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or pressure citizens to confess by word or plot their faith therein,” justice Robert Jackson created in the bulk opinion. “If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they carry out not now occur to us.”

The situation ended up with the high court ~ West Virginia’s state plank of education passed a resolution in 1942 inquiry students and also teachers come salute the flag. A group of Jehovah’s Witnesses sued, speak the requirement went against their religious beliefs.

Legal difficulties involving the Pledge that Allegiance continue to pop up indigenous time come time, with an ext recent situations centering ~ above humanists or spiritual freedom teams trying to get rid of the phrase “under God” from the pledge, according to the nationwide Constitution Center.

See more: Can You Sue A Teacher For Not Teaching ? Can You Sue A School

That expression wasn’t added to the pledge till 1954, during the Cold War, as soon as members that Congress supposedly wanted to emphasize differences between the US and also the atheistic Soviet Union.