The majority of the states in America are legally required to make their students recite the pledge of allegiance. Only 6 out of fifty states give schools the option of reciting the pledge of allegiance, and 9 have no law requiring a daily pledge. Public schools in the remaining 45 states are required by law to recite the pledge. The pledge of allegiance was first written in 1892 by a socialist minister and has been given minor revisions since then. The pledge was not written, or suggested by any founding fathers, and is not found in the constitution.
It seems to me that the purpose of the pledge is to create a sense of obedience, and whenever a government requires you by law to pledge your allegiance to it, it suggest to me that that government has too much power. There is also a difference between pledging allegiance to a government, than to the people of that government. The pledge says "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United states of American, and to the republic for which it stands." I shouldn't be pledging to our politic system, but rather the people that that system is meant to protect.
Many dystopian novelists depict their future oppressive governments as using slogans and propaganda to unite their citizens. In the film V for Vendetta the film maker shows a future totalitarian society whose government uses the slogan "strength through unity, Unity through strength" to give them a sense of security within the party, when really they are just stealing their freedom. It is also disconcerting to think that the pledge of allegiance is only recited by children and youth in schools. It acts as a label to make them know that they are property of the state.