It is my opinion that saying a pledge of allegiance to a flag, is ritual idolatry, which is, in effect praying to, or talking to, an image as if it were God, or at least a person of great authority such as a Queen or Emperor. The graven image does not have ears to hear you, nor any power to respond to your voice for your benefit nor harm. In other words, you are talking to a towel like a fool.
It seems to me also that ritual use of any symbol is likewise idolatry, since not even a cross (two beams of wood) or crucifix (two beams of wood with a statue nailed to it) can hear your voice, no more than a golden cow, and one of the 10 commandments specifically forbids graven images. A cross is not even useful for exorcism of evil spirits unless those who are under the influence of them are more under influence of the symbol.
Flags are an old symbol of Heraldry (or a similar code language), designed to assign a national claim to an area, defined by imaginary lines which can be seen only on maps drawn according to that kind of imagination, provably imaginary since these lines are not visible when you stand in the location represented by the map on which they are drawn. No animal is aware of its crossing these lines, nor is any person, unless a nation is so concerned with it them they have built walls, or unless a person crosses the line on a well beaten path, where customs levies, passports, visas, and other similar national business of identifying citizens and aliens is concerned and active.
The distinction between citizen and alien implies to me a sin, justified only by a specific lack of faith in God versus money, or what is practical to an atheist, influenced more toward the (non-sexual) customs of Sodom and Gomorrah than those of Good Samaritans. The sin of Sodom is not known correctly outside the bible, which I interpret as compulsory identification and careless violence against the poor in a land of abundance (specifically Sodom). A Good Samaritan is a stranger who helps you while your own neighbors and fellow citizens walk by, absolutely indifferent to your immediate need. This paragraph is not relevant to a specific person or nation, except any (perhaps all) who read this and know that it is relevant to themselves.
It is strange to me that flags (US of A) have other rituals also; especially that an old flag should be burned with reverence, and that is how they shall be disposed of, yet someone may intend irreverance and provoke others in protest by the same means. If not the cloth but a large paper Rand McNally map were destroyed in plain sight, the action would appear to me to be more of an intentional threat. It is only on this basis that I can understand the offense or offensive intent motivating flag burning.
This opinion is in a logical objective sense, without any intention of offense to faith. Neither is this even a shadow of a specific judgment; if you feel judged, you have judged yourself.