Every day in my stereotypical American high school experience, the students all throughout the school stand up as instructed by the intercom and put their hand on their heart to look at the stars and stripes to pledge their allegiance to the flag.

They unconsciously pledge their loyalty to the flag and what it represents: the location of the country, its borders, its institutions, its government, its military, and the economic system which allows it to exist, free-market capitalism.

I say unconsciously because even though my peers are high school students who have supposedly been taught by the education system to critically think, this norm of putting one's hand on their heart has been enforced through decades of cultural and social enforcement. I, personally, was putting my hand on my heart as I gazed at the flag, often reciting the pledge itself.

Not anymore. Fuck that flag, the genocides committed in its name, the people who seize power in its name, and the power difference it represents.