You know what's seriously fucking weird? The idea of pledging allegiance to a flag. Yes, of course they do add in the "...and to the Republic for which it stands," but why even put the flag in there at all? Who cares, the flag. Piece of cloth! I mean, it's old, and it's glorious, I KNOW. I love the thing, myself - I'm a lover of banners, sigils and symbols! And the power they have to carry meaning. I love that! But to pledge allegiance to it? It's a bizarre thing.
Swearing an oath to protect or uphold the Constitution, now, that's a pledge with some fucking meaning to it! The Constitution does more than stand for something. It enumerates rights. It lays down guarantees. It's a sheet of paper, maybe, but its words pin down what is best and to the greatest benefit of all - it is an anchor, not a pennant. It doesn't just flap in the breeze. To pledge allegiance to a FLAG? ABSURD!! Might was well say, "I pledge allegiance to Air Force One, to Mount Rushmore and the Lincoln Memorial, and to the Repulic with which these things are generally associated..." WHO DOES THIS? Who pledges allegiance to a symbol? Far more meaningfully these days, in a cynical sense we might indeed stand with hand on heart, and declare: "I pledge allegiance to the Almighty Buck, and to the Republic by whose full faith and credit it is backed..."
You know? You know what I'm saying? Are people feeling me on this one? Just flip the two, and see how dumb it sounds to even bother to include the flag in there. "I pledge allegiance to the Republic of the United States of America, and...also to the flag, which is used to represent it visually..." What does that add? What does that add?
The flag does NOT belong in the pledge.
Look, even if you want to say "Hey buddy, the use of flag here is pretty clearly intended as metonymy" - nice try! You're still so off-base, there, you might as well be trying to play cricket on a basketball court. THAT is how off-base you are - FIGURATIVELY. Because if it's true what you say, that the flag is clearly meant as metonymy, then the shout out to the Republic is just-as-clearly redundant.