Do you think it's OK to make kids recite the pledge of allegiance before they're even old enough to understand what they're doing?Personally, I don't. I think it's creepy and wrong to force kids to accept their country as the greatest before they can form their own opinions about it first. As if little kids are so greatly concerned about politics and world affairs and which country is best. And you act as if reciting a few lines brainwashes children, as if they can't POSSIBLY change their minds later. At least two of my friends hate living here, and they recite the pledge along with everyone else.
I think the pledge is something that should be taught in high school, after kids have learned about American history and modern civics (not that most American schools would do a good job of teaching these things, but I'm imagining a best case scenario here). Same thing I said above.
A person should pledge allegiance to their country because they love their country, not because an authority figure tells them to. It means something more when it comes out of free will and independent thought, rather than being a reflexive action trained in to you by years of practice during your most naive, open minded, innocent and accepting years. The Pledge of Allegiance isn't some sort of binding contract. It's just showing some respect for your country as one of it's citizens (or at the very least someone who lives there under its laws). I think you're going off the assumption that teaching kids to recite the Pledge at a young age is somehow brainwashing them to one way of thinking, i.e. that their country is good, the best, etc.
All of the kids who are in schools reciting the pledge of allegiance are American citizens (with a few exceptions).
No, their country isn't great. But it's their country. They live there, they abide by its laws, benefit from its social programs and protections, and grow up in houses with their parents or legal guardians paying the government taxes.
It's not as though young children are expected to perform military service, or do much of anything else that benefits their country-- not until they are old enough to choose to. They don't sing praises to the government, as children in, say, North Korea do.
Any working country requires allegiance from its citizens. It requires its citizens to abide its laws and pay its taxes. For the average citizen, that doesn't matter much-- most of us don't really get a chance to conspire against our motherland, even if we want to, and if we do want to, the pledge of allegiance we said in first grade doesn't stop us.
What would a nation do if its citizenry wasn't loyal? What if you've got a room full of high school kids who've learned all about their country and decide nope, not gonna happen?
Allegiance is the basic expectation of a nation, and the least we can give in return to our government. I'm not patriotic, I'm not particularly enthralled with America's current state of affairs. But the pledge of allegiance isn't that big of a deal, and, federally, as ruled by the Supreme Court, it is not required in public schools. This is true for any public school in the United States-- perhaps you weren't aware of it in your school, but it's a federal decision, not a school board one.
I think it's wrong to force kids to pledge to the flag. All during my years of school I did it because I was used to it. Once I got to high school I stopped saying it but now I still stand and put my hand on my chest to be respectful. Every school day I watch some people in my class still say it, but to be honest most of my class is quiet.