Americans: Until what age did you have to say the Pledge of Allegiance each morning?

I was thinking about this earlier today, and I realized that by the time I was in High School (10th grade), we no longer said the Pledge every day. I don’t remember if we did it in Junior High, but I know we did through Elementary school (6th grade).

Then I thought - I’m in California - I wouldn’t be surprised if the students in red states continued to say it up till graduation. I also wouldn’t be surprised if some places had eliminated it entirely at this point.


  1. Until what grade level was the Pledge conducted every day at your school?

  2. Approximately how long ago was this?

  3. What part of the country are you in?
    Non-Americans who may be unfamiliar: Here’s the Wikipedia article on the Pledge of Allegiance. I know it seems creepy to outsiders, but it’s really not something we generally think too much about - just a little poem we say at the start of the day when we’re kids.

We always said it in grade school, and then usually sang “America The Beautiful” or “My Country 'Tis of Thee”. This ended by junior high, although we sometimes did that at the beginning of assemblies, without the song.

I know we did it in third grade ('57-'58). I know we didn’t do it in fifth grade as there was no flag in that room for some reason. I don’t recall about fourth grade. It’s possible that the school just stopped having us do it altogether in '59 or so or it may have been a grade level thing. This was in Ohio near Cleveland.

  1. Senior year of high school

  2. Currently in senior year of high school, so 2013

  3. Orange County, California

  1. Until what grade level was the Pledge conducted every day at your school?

I went until 9th grade at private school, we said it every morning, after that I went to public school and we didn’t do it.

  1. Approximately how long ago was this?

1984 was the year I switched schools

  1. What part of the country are you in?

Northern California

Said it up to maybe second grade, (early 80s).

It returned my senior year in High School (90/91) in the lead up to and during the Gulf War.

Live in the S.E.

Question from a foreigner. Do you have a US flag in your classrooms too? What if you have a foreign student in class (eg if I had an imaginary temporary job in the US and sent my imaginary child to a US school for a couple of years, would they have to say the pledge too, even if they’re not a US citizen?)

We had flags in our classrooms. Nothing too big, just small ones in a flag holder nailed above the blackboard. And no, it isn’t mandatory to say the Pledge, although you might get funny looks from some of the other students.

To respond to the OP, I don’t remember when we stopped saying the Pledge. I think I still said it in high school. I went to school in Pennsylvania and graduated in 1975.

I know we said it in my first gradeschool, which was up to 3rd grade. When I went into 4th grade we all went into a newly built school, and from 4th until 6th grade I honestly don’t remember if we said it or not. I know we didn’t say it in 7th grade and onward from there.

I was in 7th grade in 1978.

This was in Wheeling, WV.

Yes, there’s a US flag in the classroom, and often the State flag as well. When saying the pledge, everyone faces the flag and puts their right hand over their heart, and recites it in unison. Like this:

As far as foreigners goes - they would probably either go along with it or opt out - the pledge used to be mandatory but after some legal battles those who wish to opt out May do so.

  1. Until 6th grade, and then again in 9th until I graduated. In 6th through 8th grades, I’m pretty sure it was just weekly.
  2. I graduated in the mid-2000s.
  3. Central Ohio.

It’s a law in many states that every classroom have a flag. In my schools it was usually just a cheap little thing in the corner.

If the school is following the rules, nobody has to say it. It’s been illegal for schools to require it since 1943.

I expect a lot of people would have a hard time understanding why the foreign student wouldn’t say it, though. In my experience it was a perfunctory bureaucratic function, not a bosom-burning zealous thing, so actually thinking about the meaning of the words would be weird.

We said it in grade school, then it went away. Then in my highschool years, it came back, but you could opt not to stand up. I opted not to stand and I was harassed.

Wow, this is surprising to me.

I also graduated High School in the mid 2000’s and I’ve never said the Pledge of Allegiance in my life, in school or otherwise. Oregon-born and bred.

ETA: OK, now that I think about it a bit, I may have said it in Cub Scouts when I was younger.

I was born in 1958. We said in in first and second grade, then there was some sort of controversy and the school district (western Pennsylvania) stopped it.

Damned if I remember. I know we did in elementary, don’t recall middle school, and pretty sure we did not in high school. This was in Western Michigan in the 1960s-70s. Damned silly custom if you ask me, it always reminded me of the Hitler Youth.

I don’t remember it being an every day thing. Usually more of an “assembly” thing than a classroom thing. Surely no later than sixth grade, or last year of “grammar school.”

Early '50’s

Alabama at that time

We said the pledge all the way from K-12. We stopped singing “My Country 'tis of Thee” after sixth grade.

NYC suburbs, graduated high school in 1986.

I don’t know when my school stopped. I stopped around grade four, when I started to really understand the words and the implications of what I was saying. I think as an age cohort we probably stopped when we started junior high (grade 7, mid-1980s). I never had any flak for abstaining (and surprisingly, given my obnoxiousness as a kid, I don’t recall making a big deal about not saying it).

We had it up until 6th grade. Then it started again in high school after 9/11. I opted out of saying it in high school.

I think we may have said it in first grade back in the mid-70’s. Never after that.

I remember being in High School in the 80’s when one of the court cases was in the news that said students couldn’t be forced to say it. One day soon after my homeroom teacher (for foreigners for people whose schools worked differently, homeroom was where you reported before classes started each day so they could take attendance before you headed off to academic classes) said, “I’m required by the state to read this.” He then read some notice saying that students did not have to say the pledge if they didn’t want to. At that point he said, “Since we’ve never said the pledge in this school that seems pretty meaningless, but if anyone does want to say it, knock yourself out.” Of course nobody did and he then went back to reading his newspaper.

I think if I ever had been in a school that went through the motions I would have claimed that my religion found flag worship idolatry and a violation of my religion and just read a book. It actually was one of the precipitating factors in my leaving boy scouts. At one meeting we were supposed to explain the meaning of the pledge and what it meant to us and they really didn’t like me calling it pseudo-religious idolatry. The ensuing fight ended up with me leaving.