I do not remember the age I understood the pledge, but I well remember having to take Americanism Vs. Communism and Civics before I could graduate from High School. This was in 1966. Later in college, I was in a political science class where one of the weekly requirements was to read and comment on 3 excerpts from the current Congressional Record, or a national editorial from the NYT or WSJ. Those assignments certainly made me a better thinker. I am reminded of those in class discussions as I read the comments in TBP. Still learning and thinking.