the pledge

A pledge is a promise. The Pledge of Allegiance — also known as “The Pledge” — is a loyalty oath to the United States of America. Children recite The Pledge every morning at school. Adults recite it at baseball games and a few other places.

There are some weird things about The Pledge. Like: You say The Pledge to the American flag. Really! It begins, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.” The flag is supposed to be a metaphor for the country, but if there’s a flag in the room when you’re saying The Pledge, you’re supposed to face the flag as if you are talking to it.

Some people think it’s weird that The Pledge calls the United States “one nation under God,” since the U.S. government isn’t supposed to favor any particular religion. Also, for people who don’t believe God exists, it might feel weird to say God is watching over the nation.

But here at Wordmonster, we think the weirdest thing about The Pledge is that we make children say it over and over, every day, for years before they know what half the words in it mean. Why would we do that?