Pledges of alliance in schools is just silly.
I understand oaths when joining the military and so on, just to make you say in words that you understand what you are doing and why you are doing it.
But being forced to stand a recite a passage of allegiance to a flag seems too much like religion to me.
External displays of patriotism seems to be more prevalent in 'younger' countries, here we just get on with our lives.
That oath is so ironic, was it the same before the civil rights movement?
No, it goes without saying, rather be quiet and dignified in it than have your artificial, manufactured patriotism.
Not in the same situation. It is exists, but the only cases I've heard it being used are a friend who gained citizenship and MPs swearing allegiance to the queen.
I'd also like to point out that you don't have to do it. You have to be respectful to those who want to do it (ie, you can't slouch in your chair with music on your MP3 player whilst other people are doing the pledge) ... but you can refuse to say it yourself.