I do not recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.
It is not that I don’t respect the American flag. I do.
I was trained to respect it both as a young child and in Boy Scouts. I display it on Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, Flag Day, and other days. I’m careful to not let it touch the ground. I try to put it up quicker than I take it down. I don’t fly it at night unless there’s a light shining on it.
I wouldn’t fly it upside down (unless there was an emergency, for then that’s proper). I don’t wear it as clothing, don’t spit on it, and don’t carry things in it. I store it where it can stay dry and safe and not get torn.
I have never burned an American flag. I would not do so unless it was no longer in a condition to be displayed with honor, and then I would either give it for proper disposal by burning by a group like the American Legion or the VFW, or burn it properly in a private ceremony.
But I will no longer recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
While it existed in some form earlier, the Pledge was not officially adopted by Congress until after America got involved in World War II. The phrase “under God” wasn’t added until 1954.
Currently, it reads: “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” portion to me violates the principle of Freedom of Religion/Separation of Church and State. So does the motto “In God We Trust” which wasn’t made official until 1956 when it replaced E pluribus unum which had been the de facto motto since 1776. Those phrases gained favor in the 1950s with its “America is God’s country” and thus “America is the greatest nation on Earth (i.e. we’re better than you)” philosophy. America then meaning, of course, non-Hispanic White America.
But beyond that, I will not pledge allegiance to an object. To me, that speaks of idolatry. Allegiance to a group, a cause, a philosophy, a nation; those I can understand. But not allegiance to a rectangular piece of colored cloth. If I had a choice between saving an American flag or saving a human being, I would not chose the flag. I would choose the person.