Haley, if you would like to read some history of the JW battle with the Pledge, look on the Internet for two US Supreme Court decisions: the 1940 Minersville case and the 1943 Barnette case.
The 1940 decision caused a backlash by "patriots".
The 1943 decision, which reversed the 1940 decision, described some of the violence by the "patriots" and the school authorities, and brought forth some judicial prose that became famous.
I find decisions by searching on SCOTUS followed by a case name. ("SCOTUS" stands for "Supreme Court of the United States" and the Internet accepts the lower case "scotus.) Try the following:
scotus minersville // scotus 1940 minersville // scotus barnette // scotus 1943 barnette.
Me? I've read almost every scotus First Amendment decision.
Here's some of that 1943 decision prose, by J. Robert Jackson:
"The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
"Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.
"If there is any 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 force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."
Have some irony: Many elders insist on saying the pledge, yet the Minersville court spoke of the Pledge as a way to bring children into the political culture. Well, some elders do have second childhoods.
I had to say the Pledge in private school. Also, I had to make a pledge to the bible and to the flag. It was all part of the chapel service we went to.
Here's a link to the pledges.
Only Americans are dumb enough to pledge fealty to a textile.
Ambrose Bierce: flag: N. a colored rag borne above troops and hoisted on forts and
ships. it appears to serve the same purpose as certain signs that one
sees and vacant lots in london -- "rubbish may be shot here."
How did I miss this one? It's easy for a theist to confuse patriotism with religion. They are not the same and your Abrahamic religion has nothing to do with American politics, either in laws or the founding of the country. People continue to claim our country was founded upon religious freedom as if that nasty old king George was suppressing religion in England. You just do not find any of this in the history books. It's a myth.
I'm ex-military and am just as confused by those who fly the American flag every day on their property. They have every right to do so, it's just that I do not understand this at a private residence. Others tell me they are being patriotic. My view is let them do it if they want to, but not me. I don't see the point.
About those two words in the Pledge:
A book by historian Kevin Kruse titled One Nation Under God is about to be published (April, and Amazon will have it.) that tells the Machiavellian story.
According to a pre-publication newspaper story, Kruse says that early during the 1930s Depression, some business leaders feared that Americans would lose faith in capitalism. They hired influential ministers to give sermons that linked religion and patriotism.
They gave those sermons but proposed no specific remedy. Those two words appeared in some drafts of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and in those times meant "god willing". They surfaced after WW2 when the Cold War with the atheistic USSR started.
...I am very uncomfortable, as I am sure all of us are, in having to say those words in the pledge.
SCOTUS in 1943 ruled that no one has to say either those words or any other part of the Pledge.
Federal appellate courts have ruled that no one has to stand while others are saying the Pledge. This issue might go to SCOTUS if other appellate courts rule differently.
Theists and other scoundrels have long pretended to own patriotism. They use it to conceal their misdeeds.