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Ælex

National Pride

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"Patriotism is, generally speaking, emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland. This attachment also known as national feeling or national pride, can be viewed from different features relating to one's own nation, like ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects. It is a set of concepts closely related to those of nationalism." - Wikipedia

 

So I recently got into a heated discussion with my family while they were watching one of those brain-dissolving "reality" shows, in which they asked the contestants a series of questions related to things such as national history, holidays and certain celebrations held annually in honor of particular historical figures. I found myself lacking knowledge in this particular field, and this immediately sparked an argument. The accusations against me were that I was required to know these things if I was to truly identify by the nationality that I bare. While I do to some extent accept this to be true, and I wouldn't say I hate my nation in any conceivable way, I do take issue with one particular thing.

 

I simply could not and would not be prideful of anything that I myself have not personally worked towards achieving. As such, I would never claim that I am "proud" to be the race that I am, I would never claim to be "proud" to be the sexuality that I am, nor would I claim to be "proud" of the nationality that I am. All of these things were what I was born with, and I as an individual see no reason to express pride in the likely/unlikely event that I was born under those particular circumstances. I made my point, however it goes without saying that the outcome was not very pleasant. Voices were raised, and mean-spirited words were spoken.

 

So now that I have returned to my home, I considered addressing you, one of my favorite communities, for your opinions on this matter. I am interested in knowing the following:

 

• Are you patriotic? If so, why? If not, why not?

• Your opinion on individuals who would chastise you for not loving your homeland as much as they themselves do.

• Your opinion on individuals who simply don't care so much about history, or patriotism.

• Your opinion on the idea of national pride itself.

Edited by Ælex

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Your opinion on individuals who simply don't care so much about history, or patriotism.

I am going to speak specifically to this.

 

First off, I don't think that people that don't know these things are in any way unpatriotic, nor do I believe people that don't know about the history of their country will love their country any less than those that do. It's also possible these people were in an educational situation that did not properly educate them.

 

But here's where my however comes in. Also note that I'm an American and will be using United States specific examples.

 

True appreciation, in my opinion, comes from the deepest possible understanding of both the current working order of something and it's origin and history. To truly appreciate to the fullest possible extent the things we have as a country today, it is necessary to know and understand the things that have happened in our past that led us to this point. For example, we have all of these wonderful freedoms today, but look at how certain groups are trying desperately to manipulate them to their own gains. There are people that even say the Constitution is irrelevant and should no longer be followed. Those with a basic understanding of American history immediately know the fault of this claim. Our founding fathers intentionally wrote a generalized document that could stand up to the test of time because of its ability to be interpreted on the basis of a changing society and culture. It isn't just some old document written in 1787 that belongs in a museum today. Through the genius by which is was composed, it is still entirely relevant.

 

Take African American history and the drama currently surrounding the Confederate flag. Without any knowledge of our history, people are left to the media to dictate what is and isn't true surrounding this object, but research into this flag's true history brings with it a deeper understanding of where it has been and what it truly means today. The same is true for nearly every historical object that is still relevant today. The Bible, for example, has a deep past about which few that honor it have any clue. The swastika now feared as a symbol of Jewish racism was once hailed as a symbol of good luck and fortune. Knowing what something is and have a deep and true understanding of it are differentiated based on one thing: knowledge of its history.

 

There's also that saying... Those without knowledge of their history are doomed to repeat it.

 

So no, I don't think people that don't know about history are by default any less patriotic than those that do know about history, but I find it deeply depressing that the deeper knowledge and understanding is something those patriotic don't wish to know. We're living in a society of people that simply no longer care about where we've been, and I fear that if we don't step up and remember where we've been, we'll end up eating our own tails.

 

Just my two cents.

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Let's toss another interesting thing into the pile - that some people think that just because another person hates the government, that they can't still be patriotic and love their country. Which, imo, is BS.

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• Are you patriotic? If so, why? If not, why not?

 

• Your opinion on individuals who would chastise you for not loving your homeland as much as they themselves do.

• Your opinion on individuals who simply don't care so much about history, or patriotism.

• Your opinion on the idea of national pride itself.

Alright, so to start this off, I'm an American. These will be U.S. examples.

Like everyone on the planet, I am slightly biased.

 

• Not really. I'm not really sure why, the only way to put my finger on it is to pin it on the Government. To be honest, it's going down the crapper. And each year, we have worse and worse candidates for the Presidential Election (pray for this country *sigh*). We have one or two right now that would be relatively okay, but Trump is so far in the media along with Clinton that he's practically not even running. The only people who really know him is Tumblr dry.gif

• I believe that they are entitled to their opinion, of course, but the moment I'm told how much of a disgusting piece of trash I am is when I'm going to open my mouth. Countries around me have free education, health care is better, living in general is better as well. And as much as the U.S. likes to claim that our 'freedom' is unique, it's really not.

• ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'm really torn on this one. I believe that in order to fully be a patriot, you really have to understand the struggles that your country went through. Or in some cases, what made your country so triumphant! But, again, not knowing doesn't mean you aren't a patriot. You can still love you country without knowing the history.

• I'm 100% okay with National Pride. With that being said, it drives me absolutely nuts when someone says that one country is better than another one simply because it's their country. I'm a born and raised U.S. citizen. Now, with that being said, I understand I would have a completely different lifestyle being in the country I'd love to live in. It kills me when people say "Oh, well Dragenburg is so much better than Whatever Blah Blah because we have freedom and we're so great!"

Uuuuum. But what about the things that are wrong? Like the fact that the U.S. stands almost entirely alone among developed nations that lack universal health care.

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Why would I be proud of a country just because I happened to be born in it? Even despite its issues? That's like being proud of your mom even though she happens to be a serial killer just because she's your mom. The criteria to be prideful should be based on more than that. Or thinking some terrible local band is awesome just because it's local. I'm a little more objective than that.

 

I'm Canadian so being patriotic isn't much of a thing. I've never heard anyone say "We're the best" or "I'm so proud to be canadian." I think our patriotism is at the most "Well at least we aren't the country of ___". We're pretty aware there are countries better than us, like Sweden. We can do better, and there is better out there, so I'm not really sure what to be proud about. How many people are like "Wooo we came in 20th place, I'm so proud!" That just allows people to be complacent with how things are instead of always trying to achieve better.

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Rather new to the forum, so hi, nice to meet y'all! This thread sparked my interest so I'm joining the discussion. I'm also Belgian (from a little country in the EU called Belgium) and I'll be answering from a "Belgian point of view" if I may call it, which however isn't necessarily the same PoV as other Belgians.

 

Are you patriotic? If so, why? If not, why not?

 

I wouldn't ever call myself patriotic, but I think it depends on the definition. I'm not necessarily proud, however I am confident in being Belgium, don't feel any shame for it and may occasionally boast to people from elsewhere if my country's good at something. However, the last item in that row is not necessarily a sign of patriotism — Japan is one of the countries ranked very, very low as for "being proud of being their nationality", however my Japanese friends still love to tell me about how Japanese food is amazing and I should try it, and which sights in Japan are great to see.

 

Why am I like this? Hm.. tough one. I think life in Belgium is not very exciting and I haven't been raised to feel proud of my country either, not in school nor by my family or friends. Being patriotic is a personality trait in a way, but I believe you're shown things to love/hate by your environment and this influences you a lot too.

 

Otherwise, when I do feel proud it's because being Belgian online or abroad has made me feel quite unique. It does make me feel sorta proud when I can list good things about my country and sorta ashamed when I can point out bad things in our history, even though I obviously didn't have a hand in any of it. I think that's feeling part of the "group" that "being of X nationality" puts you in, and if you're part of a group you will (to some extent) feel even an emotional connection (responsibility, ...) with that group.

 

Your opinion on individuals who would chastise you for not loving your homeland as much as they themselves do.

 

I've never been chastised. Like Syaoransbear said about Canadians, Belgians are generially not very patriotic either. I barely see any flags hanging out on our national holiday and at schools we often don't have to learn our own anthem.

 

That aside, I think it's okay to disagree with people who are (in your opinion) "not patriotic enough" as it is to disagree with those "too patriotic". As always, I think everyone can have opinions as long as they express themselves appropriately and constructively.

 

Your opinion on individuals who simply don't care so much about history, or patriotism.

 

In relation to thread starter Ælex's post: to think knowledge of national history == loving your country, I think that's a bit rash. Patriotism is one's own opinion, you can do whatever as long as you don't hurt anyone/-thing with it.

 

Historical knowledge... I think some general historical knowledge definitely doesn't hurt, that's why we have schools, but I think people shouldn't be required to have in-depth knowledge of their national history. In that case, we could as well invest a bit more in world history.

 

I've personally regretted that in secondary school (= grades 7-12, for those with a different system) we went from Egypt -> Greece -> Rome -> central Europe -> Belgium. We only went a bit broader to the rest of the world in discovery age and colonial age, and African history was only mentioned before 3000BC and Asian history consisted of a mention of the silk route, a mention of the Opium War and the Meiji reform. I don't remember seeing the American civil war or independence of any country outside Europe, nor did anyone point out that the World War involved more countries than just western/central Europe. But that might be a different topic...

 

Your opinion on the idea of national pride itself.

 

Might've answered it along the way... I think national pride might be something nice when you can draw confidence from it, since your nationality can be seen as part of your identity as a whole.

 

However, being too proud has been historically proven not to be a good idea either, because people die from it. Not to end on a too dark note however, being continuously very expressive about your pride can also get slightly annoying (to me, at least...). I have Catalan friends, one of whom is a strong supporter of Catalan independence (note: a lot of Catalans want to be independent from Spain). I support him and agree that Catalans have the right to vote, but sometimes when he keeps posting links about Catalonia↔Spain news, I think by myself "yes, I know by now..."

 

@Eclipseheart

 

I also find it annoying when people say "X is better than Y" as facts, regarding anything though, not only patriotism. On the aspect of patriotism though, when one can not generalize for a moment, one can objectively say that X score better than Y in the field of Z. X may have happier citizens but Y's citizens may be richer, X may have better health care but Y may have a lower crime rate.

 

When this is the case, I think it's legit to say "I think X is better than Y because it's better in these fields." In that case, speaker could just think these fields are more valuable than the fields which Y has better scores than X for.

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I suppose much like you OP, I could get into a thousand heated debates about patriotism. I suppose the short and short of it is that I despise patriotism. I see there no point in adoring and worshipping a country to the creepy extent of praising a flag. I find myself rolling my eyes at the aspect of "my country is better than yours!" The generalised idea of patriotism and national pride, I do not appreciate in the slightest. However, in a way I do consider myself lucky for being born in the country I was - where I live there has been no major war breakouts or threatening national strife in my lifetime. I suppose in a way I am thankful that I was not brought up in a struggling country or one that found itself on the brink of violence during my upbringing. That is the extent of how I consider patriotism - which in the end is not pride at all, so much as being thankful that I was brought up where I was. This being said, I become so so angry at the mention of immigration. I personally find nothing wrong with people from other countries moving into mine, and I'm all for the idea of sharing the world. Why be limited to only the country you were brought up in?

Edited by RealWilliamShakespeare

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I simply could not and would not be prideful of anything that I myself have not personally worked towards achieving. As such, I would never claim that I am "proud" to be the race that I am, I would never claim to be "proud" to be the sexuality that I am, nor would I claim to be "proud" of the nationality that I am. All of these things were what I was born with, and I as an individual see no reason to express pride in the likely/unlikely event that I was born under those particular circumstances.

This.

 

I'm happy about where I was born (when I think about it at all, anyway), but proud of it? Doesn't make sense to me.

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• Are you patriotic? If so, why? If not, why not?

• Your opinion on individuals who would chastise you for not loving your homeland as much as they themselves do.

• Your opinion on individuals who simply don't care so much about history, or patriotism.

• Your opinion on the idea of national pride itself.

• Are you patriotic? If so, why? If not, why not?

 

Well, I'm Canadian, and mostly I'm just so happy to be here. To have been born here, raised here, in this beautiful country where I'm free to be whatever I want, where equal rights are some of the most progressive in the world. I will not deny my country has its problems. They all do. It's not perfect. But it's as close to perfect as anyone is likely to get. I am so lucky to have my freedom, to live in this beautiful beautiful place with so many miles of untouched forest and wilderness. No matter where I drive, I'm driving through paradise. Of course cities like Toronto and Ottawa are noisy and dirty, but I'm also lucky to live in a country where the people are so nice. I admit that not everyone is nice, but the people who are polite are really polite, and there's a lot of them. I could have it so, so, so much worse. I am so blessed.

 

• Your opinion on individuals who would chastise you for not loving your homeland as much as they themselves do.

That's impossible since no one loves Canada like me. cool.gif

Just kidding. Well, I'm not sure what I would say to such a person. I really do love my homeland but there are definitely people who are absolutely fanatical about it, to the point where they insult every other country. My opinion on them is negative. I don't like that kind of attitude.

 

• Your opinion on individuals who simply don't care so much about history, or patriotism.

I would advise them to get informed! Apathy only leads to bad things. Caring about your nation, and learning more about your country's history is how you get informed on how to make positive changes for its future.

 

• Your opinion on the idea of national pride itself.

Good! I recommend it! biggrin.gif

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I love Canada - my adopted nationality. But right now, under Harper, I am ashamed of it as a nation sad.gif

 

As for the UK - my birth country - I am so ashamed to be British I cannot begin to tell you.

 

But I don't LIKE patriotism as a concept; it is divisive and unpleasant. Brings out the worst in people. PRIDE in something we have no control over is - silly. It's like when people tell me I should be proud of my daughter's flute playing. Why ? It's SHE who put in all the work and so on. I had nothing to do with it. Or that I could be "proud" of my parents - also an accident of birth. But what's to be PROUD of ?

 

I could say I am proud of some of the things I have personally achieved - that is legitimate, to me.

Edited by fuzzbucket

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I'm not sure if I count, but I am sort of both proud and ashamed of my country.

 

I'm not a sport's fan, but I will always cheer on England when it is us versus another country. When we do well I'm happy, when we do poorly I'm disappointed.

 

When English people go aboard and make fools of themself, like getting drunk and starting fights, I'm ashamed. I don't want everyone else to think 'OMG ENGLISH PEOPLE ARE AWESOME!' and squee like rabid fangirls whenever they see the St George's Flag, but I would like it if people thought 'Oh those people are English. I can hang with them and have a good time'. I certainly don't want people thinking we're all stuck up jerks / rowdy yobs.

 

I know England has its flaws and a long history of sticking its nose in where its not wanted, but I can't help but want my country to do well. I don't have anything against any other country, but this is the one I live in. The one where I was born. I don't have any 'achievements' of my own, other than surviving as long as I have, but I do have a general 'This is my country and I'm going to stick by it' kind of mindset.

 

I apologise if nothing I wrote makes much sense. I have difficulty organising my feelings and thoughts into actual words tongue.gif

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Let's toss another interesting thing into the pile - that some people think that just because another person hates the government, that they can't still be patriotic and love their country. Which, imo, is BS.

I would say that I have to agree with Omega Entity here.

 

One can TOTALLY disagree with the government on any NUMBER of issues and STILL love their country.

In fact... IMO, it is entirely possible that said individual dislikes government policy in part BECAUSE they see what it is doing tot he country and don't like it.

 

I'd like to think of myself as at least MILDLY patriotic.

 

That said, I o agree with some others that have mentioned that, if it gets out of hand it can become divisive ( OR blind one to genuine problems) and, therefor, a problem.

Edited by Silverswift

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I have a lot of pride for my country (South Africa) but I'm ashamed of it as well. But what sometimes settles my heart is the fact that I know other countries have huge problems as well. I guess what I'm saying is I'm proud for the things my country has achieved and the beauty it holds.

 

For me its kind hard to explain the pride I have for my country but whenever someone asks me about it or talk about it my heart swells with pride.

I know people don't think much about South Africa but to me it is my home. Its the place I grew up. It's a country that taught me many lessons about life. It's a country nowhere near perfect but I like it here... even when I am kicked down by it a couple of times, I'll just get up come back stronger.

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sad.gif When I feel especially patriotic, I feel angry to Americans. A feeling that I want to bash people up. Yeah. Not a good feeling.

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