Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines patriotism as love for or devotion to ones country. However, the word patriotism strikes lots of mixed emotions all over the United States. Some people describe themselves as involved patriots because they fly their American flag outside in their yards, when others see the word patriotism as disgusting, the seed of racism.
Patriotism to me, along with many others, means of course to have love for our homeland, our country, to support, serve and defend, to be inspired by, to change for the better and to care deeply for fellow Americans. After September 11th, a lot of people showed their love for this country by doing things like standing in line to donate blood, registering with the army, or even as little as wearing the American colors. Patriots support the countries authorities, laws, and interest. However this does not mean that true Americans should agree with whatever the President of the United States has to say and be blinded by what’s really going on in America. One of the biggest issues today is that people feel like the President has used patriotism with the American people to start a war with other countries. New posters in store windows along with billboards posted along the roads encourage the American people to become one and to show their love for their country. I believe that true patriotism doesn’t have to be encouraged but is something that we feel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. Patriotism is to be proud of where you are from, and to love everyone around you weither they are natives of that country or not. Patriotism is not to have hate for anyone that’s foreign, or to think your country is better or strong then others for no reason.
On the other hand, patriotism to some people is a superstition that is artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of this self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit. Instead of being just a love of ones country, these people believe that the patriotic individual is blinded by what the government is telling us. That patriots will go along with any ideas the government may have if put in a manner that concerns their country. People that don’t believe in patriotism also believe that to be patriotic requires allegiance to the flag, which means obedience and readiness to kill father, mother, brother and sister. The September 11th attack is a perfect example to help support this idea behind patriotism. After hearing that another country would do such a thing, people everywhere signed up to go into the Army for war. Without really knowing what they were getting themselves into, young men, old men, even women were willing to just go kill others that had nothing to do with attack in a sense. If this point is raised then the patriotic people can raise the point that the people that did sign up might have been for war with this country but they were standing up for their country and the people that died in the attack. After all, that is the real definition of patriotism.
I believe that there are different levels of patriotism. To have patriotism and to love the country that you where born and live, to love the people around you and to want to wave the American flag in your yard is to show your patriotism. To hate people of different races just because they aren’t from the land you love so much, or to go along with anything the government says without understand it just because they say it will do your country good, all of this is not patriotic.
Different people have different reasons why they are patriotic and how they choose to be so. There is a long line of people in my family that has fought for our country and freedom, even some deaths. This is one reason why my family is so patriotic. Just because my family has a huge American flag flying high in the front yard 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long with a spot light on it, doesn’t mean we have the obedience and readiness to kill father, mother, brother and sister. We do it because we love the American flag and what it stands for.
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I believe the word Patriotism is a word that you cannot describe with only one word. Patriotism isn’t something you know or read about, but it is a feeling that can describe itself in many different ways. You can feel Patriotic, but not really know what it means. It is a word that can change the way you feel about your country and yourself. “I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892. Although it has had many versions, it has always had the same meaning. To think that Patriotism can be summed up in one sentence seems unusual. True Patriotism means many different things to me than just caring and respecting other people. It means to be proud of your country, obeying the law, displaying the American flag, voting, celebrating national holidays, and being involved in the protection of all our freedoms no matter what one’s nationality is.
It is respectable to demonstrate Patriotism, but not only in times when our freedom is threatened. When doing so, this shows that we are united as one when we are threatened against one’s enemies foreign or domestic. Believing and trusting on one’s country can help people feel protected and safe in their homes especially in times of need. When we show our Patriotism it gives encouragement to our troops and government that we stand behind them through all times. Patriotism does not mean that you need to join our military forces, or becoming a politician, it can be as simple as donating items for military care packages, thanking a veteran for his or her service, or even writing letters to your local Congressman. We can all show Patriotism in different ways. I ask you “What is Patriotism to You.”