What is Patriotism?
The formal definition is: the quality of being patriotic; devotion to and vigorous support for one's country. It is also a part of nationalism, patriotic sentiment, allegiance or loyalty to the country. And Google Dictionary also states that a national flag or anthem has the power to instill patriotism. Not sure if a flag “instills” that kind of patriotism, but a flag can remind us where we come from and what we represent.
In America, the U.S. Flag is a symbol of national pride and our “patriotism”. Yet, it is also a reminder of much more.
The Star and Stripes represent our nations struggle against tyranny and oppression. Some today forget that point. Our early history was rife with the tyranny from the English Crown and its governing Parliament. That tyranny was not just over the right of self-government, but over taxation, business practices, plus laws and legislative bodies. Even our sea-ports were suppressed to obey the Crown. Every aspect of American Colonial life was governed heavy handed by the Crown. So – we became rebellious and soon revolution broke out. That U.S. Flag represents our struggles during that period.
The U.S. Flag also represents our Republic of the United States. Right after America had won its independence from England, we had a “Democracy”. It did not work well. It had no money. It had no established means of making money or paying off its debts. The early Democracy had no means to make law or regulation. The Nation lived under the Democratic Articles of Confederation. Democracy, by its very nature, was unable to get anything done for itself or for its people. The Greeks may have had the first Democracy, but like the Greeks, American Democracy was floundering right out of its new box. American Democracy was failing and failing fast. It was broke; it was helpless to help itself, let alone its own people. Early America was fixing to break apart.
So the Founding Fathers, in their well thought out wisdom, created for us all an “American Republic”, founded on the principles of democracy, but with the States much more closely bound together in a nation cause of survival.
Truly, real patriotism is a time earned ideal, a principle of loyalty that is very much “earned” over a nation’s time of existence. Many people, men and women, have given their lives from the very beginning of the revolution against the Crown to today’s modern national existence. Lots of American blood has been shed to right wrongs and to save others both here at home and abroad. Parents have lost their sons and daughters who have given everything to save their country, and their Flag, the Stars and Stripes.
Is our country perfect in all things? No, we have made mistakes along the way. Yet, no one individual is perfect and no one nation is perfect. Whatever our decisions are, we all have to live with them.
There has always been an element within society that jeered or ridiculed our nation’s Flag. It is unfortunate we have those who would tear down the very thing that truly represents their own freedom. It is sad to see those who mock the very rights the freedom Flag represent and our land gives them. Instead, they seem hell bent on bringing it all down. They can’t see the full lovely forest for the tree that blocks their view, and they are not interested in looking around that tree for the full view.