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Old 02-01-2003, 08:29 AM   #1
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America and Patriotism.

Do you think it's true that America is a more patriotic nation than many other countries, for instance Western European countries? And if so, why do you think so, and what do you think causes it?

Personally I think America probably is more patriotic than many other countries. I live in the UK but I spent a year as an exchange student in the US so I'm just trying to make some comparisons based on that. For instance, in the town I stayed in many of the houses had American flags hanging outside, lots of the classrooms in school had flags on the walls and shopping malls and parks often had flags displayed too. Here in the UK it's quite unusual to see our flag displayed, people definitely don't display flags outside their home and it's rare to see flags in schoosl or parks either. I think flags can be a symbol of patriotism - showing pride in your country and its heritage so perhaps the fact that Americans are more likely to display flags show they're more patriotic.

I was also lucky to visit Washington DC (which I have to say is the most beautiful city I've ever visited and I'd love to go back there) and see all the monuments and museums there. Again, I think the fact that there are so many monuments to past presidents, and to war veterans can indicate patriotism. People can visit those memorials and feel pride in their country's heritage and in the sacrifices people have made for it. We have some memorials like that in this country, but I don't think people have the same sort of respect for them as people in Washington DC seemed to have. The school I studied at in the US was arranging a trip for its seniors to visit the capital, specifically to see all the monuments and to visit the White House and Supreme Court etc so that students could actually see how their government worked. We hardly ever do anything like that in the UK. Students might get to visit London to see an art gallery, but rarely would anyone arrange a trip to visit the Houses of Parliament or to go to a memorial.

I think maybe Americans are generally more proud of their country's history than the citizens of some other countries. Maybe it's because America is a younger country and had to fight to win independence from Britain, whereas for lots of European countries, they've been independent nations for centuries! Maybe it's because people look at the ideals their country was founded on and are proud of that.

Anyway, those are just some random ideas of mine. Sorry to have made this post so long. Looking forward to hearing some other people's ideas!
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Old 02-01-2003, 10:54 AM   #2
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Here it is illegal to wave our flag on your property. You need to be a service man or woman or apply for permission. I think parliamentry staff may be able to as well.
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Old 02-01-2003, 02:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Here it is illegal to wave our flag on your property.
Patriotic
We have a similar law in the United States, too.
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Old 02-01-2003, 04:14 PM   #4
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Not saying that everything that we did during those years was right, but World War II and the Cold War are probably the main causes of American patriotic feeling today. And of course the after-effects of 9/11/01.

FWIW, I went to a private school until 7th grade. Now that I think about it, it seems to have been a somewhat leftward-leaning school. (One of my former classmates called it "a low-structure school for children of ex-hippies.") I was mildly surprised when I transferred to public school in 8th grade and we had to recite the pledge of allegiance in an all-school assembly.
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Old 02-01-2003, 04:21 PM   #5
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Why do you think so speedracer? I think American patriotism is more about American freedom, too - and based on more historical events, like the Independence declaration, Abraham Lincoln,...

though I dont know, Im not American.
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Old 02-01-2003, 04:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
Why do you think so speedracer? I think American patriotism is more about American freedom, too - and based on more historical events, like the Independence declaration, Abraham Lincoln,...

though I dont know, Im not American.
Hey, World War II and the Cold War are historical events, too. I think they have a greater influence on American patriotism than did events of one or two centuries ago because a lot of people who fought in these conflicts are still alive and have influenced their kids and grandkids.

Then again, I might not really know either, since my parents immigrated to the US in the late 1970s.
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Old 02-01-2003, 08:36 PM   #7
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Ok, I should have said more "classical" events.

So - who can enlighten us?
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Old 02-01-2003, 10:09 PM   #8
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Fizz, I'm in the UK too. I think that over here now, you're almost not allowed to be patriotic. There was story about the time of the World Cup 2002, that a company wouldn't let the employees put up the St George's flag because it might offend. The most patriotic show I can think of is the "last night of the proms", but even that has its critics. So many are very quick to see any sign of patriotism as something offensive, almost racist. I think maybe ppl like those who support BNP hijacked partriotism and made it a dirty thing.

Having said that, I also think if you asked most ppl on the street when St George's Day is, they would answer "St who?" lol.
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Old 02-02-2003, 07:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer
Not saying that everything that we did during those years was right, but World War II and the Cold War are probably the main causes of American patriotic feeling today. And of course the after-effects of 9/11/01.
I definitely agree that 9/11 made Americans more patriotic. Maybe that was because of the shock of seeing their country attacked, or because of the idea of uniting against an enemy. Again, during WWII and the Cold War there was the idea of the country being 'united' against a common enemy (ie Hitler and fascism in WWII and communism during the Cold War). However, I think also patriotism comes from events from further back in history, and especially an idea of what America is supposed to represent, or what values America stands for.
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Old 02-02-2003, 07:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by UKTan
So many are very quick to see any sign of patriotism as something offensive, almost racist. I think maybe ppl like those who support BNP hijacked partriotism and made it a dirty thing.


I personally think the BNP are some of the most disgusting individuals in this country. They create nothing but hatred and division, and much as they try to pretend to be "patriotic" and "standing up for British people" in reality they're just a nasty little group of racists and fascists.

*rant over*

Yes, I agree that they've tried to hijack patriotism and make it patriotism into hating everything that's not British, rather than celebrating the good things about a country while also recognising that there are many good things about all other countries.

Quote:
Having said that, I also think if you asked most ppl on the street when St George's Day is, they would answer "St who?" lol.
EXACTLY! That's what makes me angry when people claim "we're not allowed to be proud of being British" or "we can't celebrate British culture" because well, what do you define as British culture? I've asked people that, and nobody's ever been able to answer! Name something you want to be proud of about your nationality and celebrate that, don't just moan that you're not allowed to celebrate "British-ness" as an excuse for not knowing what you want to celebrate!
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