- Adult Baby, Diaper Lover, Carer
Hmm...I always thought nationalism is way worse than patriotism, simply because nationalism includes the negative stereotype of hating other nations while patriotism includes the (mostly) positive stereotype of liking your own nation."Patriotism" is an evil, evil thing. Nationalism in a different package.
Really? Then explain this picture I took last week at the other end of Westminster Bridge in London: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.
(a booth selling any item of clothing you can imagine with either the Union Jack or the English flag on it)
In Germany, patriotism is a rather mixed bag of beans. WHenever you think or hear of Germany, people abroad inevitably think of the Nazis, so it's not really a good idea to go waving our flag around in other people's faces. Granted, it's been a while since the Nazis ruled the country, but they instill that idea of shame in us at such an early age that it's hard to get rid of.
In the light of that argument, everyone was surprised when stores ran out of supplies on German flags during the World Cup back in 2006. So I guess Charlie's theory applies to Germany as well, because back then, everyone flew German flags - on cars, houses, offices. I'm sure it'll be the same this summer for the Euro 2008 soccer/football championship. Other than that, people don't put their flags out and don't go parading around their nationality.
However, patriotism's most important function is to define one's nationality. And finding a common symbol is more important in places like the U.S. which consists of many different races and many people of different backgrounds. In Germany, we're pretty homogenous in terms of what we perceive to be German and who we perceive to be German. So there's not much of a point of gathering around a common symbol (a flag) or to say some stupid pledge every day. While Britain, Belgium and even CAnada have had movements of a part of the country to separate, no such ideas exist here in this country, despite the rather huge diversity in regional cultures here. So as I said - not much of a point for patriotism here. Plus we have the whole European Union thing sitting above our heads as well, which adds a bit of confusion and makes me wondering if I'm supposed to associate with my region, country, or Europe as a whole. I guess I just use whatever I feel is most convenient.