Is it good to fly the flag in public schools and to recite the Pledge of Allegiance? 43 states say yes; Michigan has passed legislation which would add our state to that number. Students would not be compelled to recite the Pledge. That's probably good; no sense offending those with serious and rational objections to it.
Yet the first question which comes to mind is: why can't we have voluntary school prayer under the same guidelines? The answer: because that makes non-Christian students feel pressured to become Christians (or Muslim or Buddhist, perhaps, depending on the locale; inserting any creed here will make the point). Wouldn't recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by many if not all others effectively 'pressure' non participants into affirming allegiance to the United States?
We certainly are not against the Pledge. It is a good and noble thing to love your country (so long as your country is good and noble) and such sentiments should be encouraged. We are likewise not against things which encourage allegiance to any right and proper cause, or to instilling a decent sense of nationhood within the citizenry. But what we are against is the relative hypocrisy on the matter. The state can, well, at least attempt to compel its wards to love, honor, and support the state. The trouble is that the state is, after all, an institution of mere human design.
Why can the state, in even so modest of a fashion, try to make elementary and high schools students love and support it while not allowing those willing to love and support something of greater importance than a simply human construct express open and public support for it while in view of all?
We will leave the question at that. We're simply throwing it out there for the consideration of body politic. Yet we strongly suspect that the answer from that body will tell us all we need to know about the state indeed.