You, Your Country, and Being Patriotic

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Charlie

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Today was St. George's day. And in England, it's also a national day (like 4th of July for Americans).
I saw a lot of England flags about, and it got me thinking about being Patriotic...

In England, if you see an England flag it usually means that England are playing in some sport internationally. So the England flag is more of a sport symbol.

I can't speak for the whole country, but when I see a Union Jack* it's nearly always on someone's house, and from that I assume that means the person who lives there is a right-wing racist.

*I'm not sure how much other people will know about this stuff, so I'll explain a little. The UK (united kingdom) is a country that is made up of countries (countries within countries!), the Union Jack is made up of both the Scottish and English flags. England and Wales are different countries... but really there's little difference in laws, mainly because England pretty much controlled Wales ages ago (hence the Welsh not getting anything from their flag put on the flag). England and Scotland are more independent, and laws and legal stuff can vary.

I was wondering how Patriotic I was. I like Britain, and I'm quite proud to be British. But I don't know about the rest of the country, I don't really get a Patriotic vibe.
Places like America seem very Patriotic, sometimes too Patriotic. :p
But I like the little things, like having American flags at schools or libraries, and the "Pledge of Allegiance". These are just things I've seen on TV though.

So, the questions:
Are you Patriotic? Why/why not?
Where do you live? Is this a Patriotic place in general?
Is being Patriotic a good thing? Can you ever be too Patriotic?
Is Patriotism twisted or misused in some ways? (For example here it seems it's used as a racist thing.)
 

Pojo

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I'm hardly Patriotic...I don't even say the Pledge of Allegiance...I don't know why...I guess because I'm not that involved in politics and the world...So I don't care that much...I don't know how Patriotic the area around here is though...I think you can be too Patriotic...I find it kind of annoying (slaps head...Something I forgot to add to one thread D=)...I think it can be used to get people to fight for us...Which won't work on me since I never want to fight in the army
 

Vladimir

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Quebec is the best place to be, and I'll never let you say otherwise! D:<
 

Takashi

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Are you Patriotic? Why/why not?
In my own way, I love America and what we are free to do but I hate the people that run it.
Where do you live? Is this a Patriotic place in general?
Brandon, Florida, I wouldn't say we are Patriotic.
Is being Patriotic a good thing? Can you ever be too Patriotic?
Yes I believe it's good to have pride in your country. Yes I think people go overboard with Patriotism.
Is Patriotism twisted or misused in some ways?
Yes, In the south of the US we have a flag that was used as a symbol for the Confedorates in the Civil War and now you will see that flag all over the south. People use it as a sign of pride in the south but it mainly stands for raceism because if you flyed the Confedorate flag you believed that slavery was a good thing.
 

Trevor

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For me, patriotism was something to be careful with, like a very sharp knife. It's all well and good to love where you come from (and I do), but if you're not careful, it can mess with your objectivity. Levels of showy patriotism have fluctuated during my lifetime.

When I first started school, the pledge of allegiance was common. I was six and my family didn't have any particular axe to grind, so I said it too. I think it was third or fourth grade when it went out of favor until I hit middle school. By that time, I was actually thinking about what it meant and I didn't care for the idea of essentially praying to a flag. I got a few dirty looks and complaints about not doing it, but no one tried to force me. I got occasional flack and a few discussions about it from other students and teachers though high school. We generally agreed to disagree and I was not required to say the stupid pledge.

For the most part, I'd say patriotism in my part of the country was low-key and tinged with skepticism (cynicism?). Enthusiasm for the country, its traditions, and most of its values, but less so for the government. People who flew flags outside of Veterans Day or Memorial Day were most likely career military or considered a little overboard by their neighbors. As a general rule, the further you got from big cities, the less self-conscious patriotism appeared to be. It was most prevelant at election times (which was odd to me since those times were generally my periods of greatest disappointment in my country), military actions, and the Olympics.

The post-9/11 situation is quite different. Flags appeared all over, not just in windows and flying in front of houses, but on cars and all manner of products. After a brief period of togetherness, people got bitter about the government again, but it seems to have done little to affect the overall increase in patriotism. It'd be interesting to watch if I wasn't involved.
 
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daria7483

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Well, here in America, I think the word "patriotism" gets tossed around without much thought for what it means. Particularly after 9/11, I remember people who did not fly an American flag or questioned the U.S's response to the attacks were criticized for not being patriotic. Now if you don't agree with the U.S. being in Iraq, you are called unpatriotic by some. If you think kids shouldn't be required to say the pledge in school, you're unpatriotic. If you think there should be more restrictions on firearm sales and use, you're unpatriotic.

There is a lot of stress here on things like flying a flag or saying the pledge of allegience. I've heard of kindergarten children being required to memorize the pledge. I think this is stupid because unless you actually understand and appreciate what you are saying, it's meaningless. In fact I would argue that it's unpatriotic and just plain wrong to claim that you are pledging allegiance to the flag if you have never even thought about what that means.

I would also say that questioning the war or other policies is not unpatriotic, in fact, it meets my definition of patriotism: caring enough about your country, its foundation, and the people who live there to question whether the laws and administration are the best things for it.

I dunno. I would probably not be considered patriotic by most people's standards. I admit that I love certain aspects of living in the U.S, such as freedom of speech, or my relative affluence compared to the rest of the world. I sure as hell would not want to be in a country where women can't talk to men who aren't their husband, or where people routinely get killed in the streets, or where I didn't have enough to eat or clean water to drink.

On the other hand, I am pretty quick to criticize the U.S., not just because of the Bush administration but also just because the general greed and shallowness of Americans disgusts me.

So, I guess if appreciating what you have but also worrying for the future of your country and its citizens is patriotic, then I'm patriotic as hell.
 

Verscha

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The word 'patriotism' in recent years especially seems to have become nothing more than a byword for jingoism and ignorance; a hollow political phrase used to discredit a ruling group's detractors. But even in the traditional sense of the word, I can't call myself a patriot. I have no inherent love for the country that-- completely by chance-- I was born in, nor the people who dwell within it. Sure, it's nice that I'm not living in some god-forsaken warzone but I'm not going to go waving flags because of pure luck.
 

Vladimir

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I like my country. Or at least my province, which you could call a country, considering that it's the only French-speaking province of Canada.

I find Quebecers quite easy-going and fun people to talk to, generally open-minded and funny. When I think about it, it makes me want to stay in high school forever! I guess that's partly why I don't feel comfortable being around English-speaking people most of the time. But maybe that's just because I'm reserved, although I'm more inclined to open myself to Quebecers.

And I like Montreal's Canadien. =D
 
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I am in-between on patriotism, a lot of things about this country I really don't agree with, but it is my home.
Although it may be my home I would not fight in a war for this country(sorry, but I believe we should not be fighting in the first place), I would not support any action to meddle in foreign affairs.
Although I live in the U.S. and I've been told we are the 'greatest' I know that's not true, like it or not this country is still very segregated on race, ideas and theology.
For instance, on the idea that we're segregated on ideas, we have the Democratic party and the Republican party, these are good, BUT the animosity between them is terrible(let alone the internal fight in the Democratic party at the current moment(Clinton Vs. Obama))

When you ask, is it a very patriotic place, it seems like the patriotism here is fake. Everyone is here because they were raised here, and although they live here, this country is so divided that it doesn't seem like we're 'just' the United States, I mean we don't even say the pledge in my school any more. It also seems like the patriotism here is forced though propaganda, and people being forced into the army due to financial issues(can't pay for collage, so they go into the army to better their lives, which in itself is a good thing(I'm not pulling another Kerry)) so the patriotism is there only for the drive to fight the 'enemy' but it's not their in the sense of you have pride in your country.

But even with very major flaws, this is still my home, although I may leave the country, this is my homeland, I was raised here, I may not die here, but I still have a connection to my country, to my home.
 

andysetra

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I love how Canadians are deep down patriotic, but we show it in a very apathetic way. In my opinion patriotism doesn't necessarily need to displayed in big bold letters, and shouted all the time...that would just be annoying :p It's about loving your country, and being able to point out all the flaws and crummy things about it, because you care enough to want to improve it.

I guess that's partly why I don't feel comfortable being around English-speaking people most of the time. But maybe that's just because I'm reserved, although I'm more inclined to open myself to Quebecers.
Funny, I could say the same thing, except reverse the roles....curse you cultural barrier!

EDIT: I guess I should answer those questions I missed the first time:

Are you Patriotic? Yes, I would think I am, but just mildly.
Where do you live? Is this a Patriotic place in general? Depends on what you mean by patriotism; for the most part we love our country, but we don't have an attitude that it is the 'best' country, nor do we believe that everything Canadian is 'right'.
Is being Patriotic a good thing? Can you ever be too Patriotic? I guess it's a good thing, but YES YOU CAN BE TOO PATRIOTIC...just look at all the nutjobs on American news... 'nuff said
Is Patriotism twisted or misused in some ways? Again, nutjobs on American news :p
 

avery

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national borders are pretty arbitrary; i think do more to divide people from one another than to unite us. they move around all the time, they divide ethnic groups, and they basically just give us excuses to fight with one another. so if patriotism means nationalism i certainly don't hold with it.

i'm also pretty wary of ethnic stereotyping, although obviously there ARE differences between different races of people. still, i think it's kind of stupid to be proud of your ethnicity. if you're an italian, you can't say something like "all italians are friendly" because although it's true that italians tend to be friendly people there will always be some of them who are assholes just like in any ethnic group. and in my part of the world most people are mutts anyway. so if being patriotic means being proud of your ethnicity, i don't think it's a very healthy way of thinking.

a lot of people use the word patriotism to mean being proud of their government. i couldn't possibly be more ashamed of my government. and i think governments in general are never things to be proud of. they're a necessary evil, and i think that kind of patriotism basically boils down to a hateful, warlike "us vs. them" mentality.

despite all that, i consider myself to be a very patriotic person. i've been on a few road trips across america and i love the land and the people. and i think the pacific northwest is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the entire world, and one of the safest, friendliest, and overall most pleasant places to live. i love my life and for all its flaws i love the culture that i'm a part of. so although i don't understand patriotism in quite the same sense as a lot of people, i definitely consider myself patriotic.
 

Tigger

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Well, most of us Aussies are proud to be Australian, even if we do think the government are a bunch of wankers. Once a year we have Australia Day, which is a celebration of Australia. So yeah. We don't go as far as the americans do tho, bloody hell they can go on and on and on! lol
 
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Well, most of us Aussies are proud to be Australian, even if we do think the government are a bunch of wankers. Once a year we have Australia Day, which is a celebration of Australia. So yeah. We don't go as far as the americans do tho, bloody hell they can go on and on and on! lol
Yeah, Aussie Pride works a bit differently than your typical patriotism.

We vote in a government we hate. But don't care either way, because we think all politicians are wankers.

Our national holiday celebrates being an Australian through the variety of unique things that make us Australian. The typical family/friends get-together for a BBQ and Beer is a major thing.

We hold great pride to things that are unique to us. When a local-brand gets sold off to a foreign company, you can expect quite a few people to kick up a stink about it. Vegemite isn't even Australian owned, since it's made by Kraft. And regardless of whatever you hear, Ugg-boots originated in Australia and we are damn proud of that!

The Australian-version of white trash is the "bogan", who unlike their American counter-parts are the epitome and cumulation of many Australian-isms splashed together.

We "take the piss out of" foreigners, simply because we can and find it particularly hilarious. Telling them crazy stories about drop-bears and deadly animals is always good for a laugh.

That's all Aussie Pride right there. :thumbsup:
 

Aidy

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Oi, drop bears are real!!!! (If you tell them they're not we can't trick the foreigners.

Tomorrow is Anzac Day for Australia. I think it's more important patriotic holiday then Australia Day but it's not a party like Australia Day.

I'm patriotic. I love most things about Australia, Australian's and our way of life. I love our collective personality and that we are made of so many cultures yet all Australian. The way our government works is far surperior to most countries. We are forced to vote and therefore we can't just sit back and go "I didn't vote so it's not my fault that our governments crap."
Our politics don't consist of two rich bastards going "No you are." "He's mean." "I like guns and am Christian therefore you should vote."

I love the fact that you can travel overseas and everyone thinks you are a great person just because you're Australian.

I love our national sport but hate that sport is put before many more important things.

I love our social beer drinking but hate our binge drinking and hate our beer. (Austrian beer, mmmmm)

I love the ute and the esky. I love aussie snaggers.

One thing that I am extremely proud of is that, even though we remember our fallen soldiers, "Lest We Forget," (ANZAC Day pledge) our greatest hero of all our wars was a medic who saved lives. A guy who trotted through no mans land picking up soldiers of both sides without firing a shot.

It angers me that the US media is influencing people away from Australia and that some people think having an American accent is cool. That corporations are ruining the stereotypical aussie small business.

Australia is the best country in the world even though it isn't perfect and, being a patriot, you can never convince me otherwise.


What I don't like about patriotism is how it is used to harm people. Our media has this thing about dubbing people "unaustralian" to create hate towards them. Funny since most Australian's were migrants.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch6IN8i5Rv0

And wait, I think we have a different definition of bogan. In the west a bogan is someone who is very stereotypical aussie but doesn't really care about his looks. They aren't white trash. My bros a bogan and many of my mates are bogans.
White trash is just white trash on this side of the country.
 

Roland

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I'm not extremely patriotic, but I am proud of the history of both sides of my country's culture

I don't believe in a countries culture though, as many countries share things in common.
So really, I'm proud of e.g the generalised balkan to middle east culture. (Which many countries have adopted in their tradition). Countries, although something inevitable, are something I don't really like.

HOWEVER.

I do not try to tell people that my nationality(ies) and culture(s) are superior to them. That's when it becomes racist.

I respect them and personaly like to inform myself about them, cause diversity in a way is a unifying thing in my opinion. We are all different, and we are all equal.

But that's just me, I have some strange views, so you don't have to agree.
 

ayanna

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I think we all know that I'm patriotic! :canada:

The thing I love most about my country...it is a cultural mosaic...not a cultural melting pot!

 

BromeTeks

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USA! USA!
:usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa:
:usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa:

But seriously, if you want to see American super patriots, go to the redneck areas of the south.

I really only consider myself to be moderately patriotic, and I most certainly don't support the current administration.
 

Chillhouse

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Canada ftw!

I love everything about Canada; the wild frontier, the people, the freedom from discrimination. Hell, I even love Quebec!

But, you know, I don`t actualy talk about this stuff. I prefer to be quietly patriotic. We're great, but we still have our problems.
 

Mingus

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Today was St. George's day. And in England, it's also a national day (like 4th of July for Americans).
I saw a lot of England flags about, and it got me thinking about being Patriotic...

In England, if you see an England flag it usually means that England are playing in some sport internationally. So the England flag is more of a sport symbol.

I can't speak for the whole country, but when I see a Union Jack* it's nearly always on someone's house, and from that I assume that means the person who lives there is a right-wing racist.
Interesting you should mention this. My girlfriend thinks people who fly the Union Jack in Scotland are racists. I'm certainly willing to see the point (if you haven't seen it, by the way, This is England is a terrific film about racism and the BNP in the 1980s). I find it surprising, though, that the symbol of union represents such hate and vitriol. In most countries, flying the flag of a separate nation is borderline separatist, and could be interpreted as racist. The state flag, however, might just represent patriotism. I guess there's a whole other dimension in Scotland than in England. The SNP does have a minority government, so there's a political dimension to flying that Saltire that doesn't exist when you fly the St. George's cross. Flying the Saltire doesn't make someone a separatist--but flying the Union Jack is generally construed as racist. I'm not really sure what to make of all this. I probably ought to have a better handle on it, given that I'm studying history and politics in Scotland and am particularly interested in nationalism. Still, some things to think about.

As far as patriotism goes, I saw someone say they weren't proud to be English--why would someone be proud of an identity they were born into through no agency of their own? Nevertheless, they were happy to be English.

To that extent, I guess I'm happy to be both British and American, although I tend to think and speak as Americans do in many ways.
 
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