Accuracy in Media

Teen Vogue turns its young audience against the Pledge of Allegiance in a new op-ed.

“The Pledge of Allegiance is a forced display of performative patriotism rooted in nativism, bigotry, and salesmanship,” the author writes, coming out swinging in the first sentence. But reciting and standing for it is not legally enforceable.

With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 right around the corner, Teen Vogue links the pledge to the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of that tragic day.

“Amid rising Islamophobia and growing racial, ethnic, and religious diversity in the U.S., the pledge was invoked as a means of ensuring the white gatekeeping of patriotism and American identity,” the article says. “Various state legislatures urged mandatory adoption of the pledge in schools. These conversations were a reminder that the Pledge of Allegiance has always been a creepy loyalty oath with an underlying ethos of assimilation and anti-multiculturalism.”

Neither patriotism nor the American identity is inherently white. Nor should they be. It’s ironic for the writer to associate the pledge with anti-multiculturalism given the United States’ standing as a metaphorical salad bowl

For Teen Vogue, 9/11 should be remembered for “reinvigorat[ing] nationalist and nativist fears that America was becoming too diverse.” A healthy dose of caution toward radical Islamic terrorism isn’t nationalist, nativist or anti-diversity. Nor is it justified to take offense at “criticism and being ostracized” for refusing to recite the pledge after 9/11 in a moment demanding national unity.

“For many conservative lawmakers — and some Democrats — the pledge was a patriotic litmus test,” the article balks. “To recite it was to pledge unity and loyalty to the flag and country, and refusing to do so was considered unpatriotic and un-American.”

Democrats’ creeping anti-Americanism has metastasized, with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) describing 9/11 as “some people did something.” Late last month, the Virginia Department of Education posted a YouTube video that advised teachers to not blame 9/11 on Muslim extremism.

“Gratuitous, mindless displays of patriotism have nothing to do with loving America and everything to do with preventing students from questioning the status quo and advocating for a more progressive and egalitarian society,” the article concludes. A 15-second-or-less pledge is decidedly not gratuitous, although a pledge of allegiance to one’s country is full of love. 

For the Left to see not reciting the pledge as “questioning the status quo” shows ignorance of their cultural dominance. A “more progressive and egalitarian society” is all that America’s youth hear about in public schools, colleges and wannabe countercultural outlets like Teen Vogue.




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