What is Patriotism?

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Vasan Nomany

A veteran salutes the flag at the school’s Veterans Day ceremony. One of many ways of showing patriotism is saluting your country’s flag. It is a sign of respect towards a symbol of the nation.

The “Pledge of Allegiance”, Veterans Day, and the Fourth of July all encompass the idea of patriotism. Some would agree that being patriotic towards your country is noble and necessary. Some people use patriotism as an excuse for their actions. Others see that patriotism is following the traditional ways of society and that we need to move past that. However, something that a lot of people misunderstand is what patriotism actually is.

Patriotism can be seen in multiple forms. Of course, patriotism is shown every day. The “Pledge of Allegiance” is how almost every student in the United States starts their day. They hold their hand over their heart and recite the pledge to their country. Many students dislike the pledge. They say it is cult-like and unnatural to pledge yourself to a country. 

The ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ is a promise. The students of the United States are making a promise every day that they will honor life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The “Pledge of Allegiance” is a promise. The students of the United States are making a promise every day that they will honor life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the very essence of patriotism. When a student is saying the “Pledge,” they don’t look around and wonder, “What is your political party?” What divides us is forgotten during a patriotic moment. That’s what makes patriotism special. 

With patriotism comes loyalty to your country. However, there is a certain point where an individual can take loyalty too far. Blindly following a country is not patriotism. Standing up against leaders that do not lead in the best interest of your country is the most patriotic act you can do. There is a point to how far you should take that. 

Thankfully, we have the right to protest and hold our leaders accountable. Being patriotic and defending your country against a corrupt leader is very common. Perhaps not against corrupt leaders, but against leaders who are not fit for a country. There have been many protests against the United States government. 

However, there is a certain point where an individual can take loyalty too far. Blindly following a country is not patriotism.”

The Civil Rights Movement was a prime example of citizens protesting against a government that was excluding them from day-to-day norms. This is an example of a group of people using patriotism to change their country. They believed in the words that this country was founded on. They took patriotism to the greatest extent to change a broken system. 

When the Capital riot happened, many believed that was the height of patriotism. However, this version of patriotism was used for the wrong purpose. The people involved believed that they were saving their country. They believed that the 2020 election was not legitimate even though there was no real proof of voter fraud. They attacked the democratic system of our government by trying to undermine the election of the next president, using patriotism as their excuse. The riot was a perfect example of patriotism being used against the very ideals of the country they believe they are protecting. 

Being patriotic can be used in many ways. Fighting for your country’s views, voting, or honoring our veterans on Veterans Day are prime examples of patriotism that improves a country.