waccamatt saidI don't like religion and government mixing at all. Government should be neutral when it comes to religious references. I'm not real keen on "pledging allegiance" to things, either. It's just a form of indoctrination. We should love the country because it's our home and not because we're coerced into "pledging allegiance".
I do have some problems of my own with this concept of the POA. For one thing, why should I pledge allegiance to a piece of colored cloth?
Instead of saying "...and to the Republic, for which [this piece of cloth] stands..." why don't we just say: "I pledge allegiance to the United States of America"? I could be happy with that, direct and to the point.
And of course as a retired soldier I once spoke a similar oath to obey the President, as the Commander in Chief, and was empowered to administer that same oath to other soldiers myself, as I often did. In fact, to this day, like any Federal officer, I could even legally administer the Presidential oath if called upon.
So I understand these formalities, respect them, and have no issues with the basic concept. But the verbiage is really all wrong. I have no allegiance to cloth, I don't care what it's supposed to represent. My allegiance is to my country, to my commander while in uniform, and to my fellow citizens. And to my own conscience at all times.