A big part of the American culture is our love for our country and being patriotic. However, there has been a growing divide with how people feel towards being patriotic and what it entails. Some feel that standing, hand over their 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,” is the ultimate show of patriotism for a civilian. Do thirty-one words really define if you are patriotic or not?
“The pledge of allegiance doesn’t mean anything to me,” said Mallory Scurlock, a junior. Scurlock believes being patriotic is shown by loving your country and being loyal to it. “It’s making a promise to a country who won’t make their promises to anyone but who they choose.”
Everyone has reasons for why they feel a certain way about something. They might be persuaded because of a job, family opinions, or by society.
“Having patriotism is supporting your country by possibly displaying the flag or joining the military,” said Case Jaukkuri, a senior. Jaukkuri enlisted in the United States Army about a year ago and his job is 31 Bravo, which is the military police. “If you live in this country, you should stand for the flag.”
Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there has been a rise in controversy over patriotism and what it means.
“I think people sometimes say it [Pledge of Alligance] without knowing what it means,” said Evan Kershner, the U.S. history teacher at Meridian High School. He believes that patriotism is looking out for the best interest for your country through the good and the bad. “It’s [Pledge of Alligance] sometimes blind patriotism, where people don’t really know what they are pledging allegiance to, they’re just like, ‘I’ve always done it, so I guess I’ll keep doing it.'”