The Pledge of Allegiance is repeated by students across the nation as they start their days at school. It is announced by refugees and other immigrants who recite it during their naturalization ceremonies . The echoes of the pledge can be heard during Congressional sessions and other government meetings, including those of the Spokane City Council (at least before meetings became virtual in the pandemic).

Cornell Clayton.

“The pledge was initially rooted by the panic of mass migration and a nativist fear,” said Cornell Clayton, the director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service and a professor of political science at Washington State University. “It encouraged immigrants to appreciate their new homeland as they arrived from all over Europe.”

Washington state requires each school to have a visible flag on display during school hours. It is also requires for each classroom to have a flag on display to accompany the ritual recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the school day. Washington state does not require students to recite the pledge, but asks that “students not reciting the pledge shall maintain a respectful silence.” The law also says that the pledge or National Anthem “shall be rendered immediately preceding interschool events when feasible.”

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