Saluting the flag

Many apologies if this has been done a million times before…
It is my understanding that in American schools each morning it is required for students to stand and recite the pledge and swear loyalty to America.
I think this is very very wrong. I don’t believe it is right to force children to swear aliegence to a country they did not choose to live in. I don’t beleve it is right to brainwash children into believing their country is especially blessed over any other.

In my childhood I was an Austalian (guess how freeky my accent is!) and they have a similar practise there but not being Australian I refused to do it and was exempt. What would happen in an American school if this happened?

Is it right or wrong to salute the flag? I think wrong and I cannot shake the uneasy feeling that this practise has parallells in fundamentalism…

Glad to report that no such thing occur in Australia these days.

Yeah, it was wierd enough making us sing ‘God Save the Queen’!

The OP requires the following information, for the benefit of non-USA Dopers:
(a) It’s a tradition in many school districts, a “rule” in many schools, but in just as many others it’s not required and not done; the latter may for all I know now represent a numerical majority of the pupils enrolled. Some school districts “require” it, but it’s really up to the schools principals to enforce it.
(b) School organization and management in the USA is a local-community jurisdiction, under school districts ruled by school boards that are mostly elected, often in elections separate from those for the general local governments. The school district may not necessarily coincide geopolitically with the city, town or county and is usually funded by the real-property tax in the locality. The Statewide and Federal education departments deal with setting common standards, protecting the rights of students and employees, and providing supplemental funding.
© It has been determined by the US Supreme Court, as far back as 1943, that no student may be forced to make the Pledge of Allegiance against their beliefs/wishes
(d) Some so-called “traditional values conservatives” believe that a return to strict observance of the Pledge, and maybe also a pre-class prayer, would be the solution to all problems of degeneracy of the American collective character. Conveniently forgetting that their detested 1960s hippies and “liberals” grew up saying the Pledge and the prayers (Hmmm… waittaminute…)
(e) The rite consists of standing facing the flag, placing hand-on-heart, and reciting “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.” (The “under God” bit added in a fit of self-righteousness in the 1950)

I agree that forced oaths of loyalty are a Very Bad Thing. On the other hand, I think that most Americans, and especially the schoolkids, don’t think of the Pledge as some kind of solemn oath. Most just stand up and go along with it, not really taking it too seriously. That said, I would be very upset if I had a child that went to a school that required it as a matter of policy. I would be more upset if the (public) school allowed group prayer, but that is a different question.

I said it in grade school when I was growing up (1970’s) but we didn’t have it in middle or high school (approx. age 11-17). Most kids didn’t take it seriously once they’d been in school a couple years, and just kind of mumbled along after the teacher as part of the morning ritual (“I pwedge awwaga to the faa oda Unida Saa…”), much like putting away your bookbags and having #2 pencils ready. I have no idea if it was mandatory or not.