Patriotic much?

3 07 2010

I’ve never been very patriotic. Lame right? Especially since I live in the most amazing, fantastic and superb country in the world! U.S.A.! Yah!

Ugh. Could you feel the sarcasm there?

I have only cried once during the National Anthem, but that was due more to a bad day and hormones than “I love my country-itis”. My heart doesn’t swell when I hear “God bless America” and I don’t get all worked up when I see the American Flag burning. I mean, I’ve burned a flag before and it wasn’t a big deal (note: that was for a Girl Scouts ceremony).

This all relates to a conversation a friend and I had a few weeks ago. She’s from Russia (no she’s not a spy so don’t even go there) and didn’t understand why Americans are the only country to say they’re Italian, Irish, Japanese… whatever. As in, “Hi, I’m Kacey and I’m German”. Her point is that I’m not from Germany, so therefore I’m not German. I’m from America and therefore I’m American. But being raised as an American, I was taught that heritage is important, and I should be proud of where my ancestors came from (read this post to learn more).

How does this all tie in with 4th of July? Well, since I was taught to be proud of my heritage, and latched on to the fact that my heritage is mostly European, I don’t feel a connection with the U.S.A. as part of who I am. Sure, it’s where I’m from, but it’s not who I am, at least not how I identify myself. When I travel overseas, I will tell people I’m from the U.S. but it isn’t something that I define myself with.

I’m going to go watch fireworks tonight. Because that is what The United States is all about. A big show with no real meaning.

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7 responses

3 07 2010
MOM

I didn’t know you felt that way. I cry every time we sing the national anthem because to me it represents all the men and women who have fought for our freedom. I sing out of respect. I hold my hand over my heart out of respect. I cry out of respect. Can’t help myself. The flag is just a piece of cloth but it represents so much more than that. It’s our symbol and to me it represents who we are as a nation. Rethink it. It’s not so much about our heritage when it comes to patriotism. It’s our history that brought us to the place we are now. And you should be proud of that in itself. Sorry – I didn’t mean to rant but you touched a sensitive spot. I hope you never burn a flag again and change how you feel. It’s important that you do.

3 07 2010
kcbruski

The flag burning was for Girl Scouts… guess I should have mentioned that. And I’m not proud of a lot of things this country has done in the name of “freedom” which is another reason why I am lacking patriotic fever.

3 07 2010
Kevin Marshall

I’m actually 100% with you.

In response to our Russian friend: we’re actively a country of immigrants with a very, very loose idea of what “American” is. American culture is more of a media-centric idea than one rooted in things like cuisine, practice, religion, etcetera.

4 07 2010
MOM

Oh yes, we burned flags in Girl Scouts. I thought that might be what you were talking about. Thank goodness.

I agree with you that I’m not proud of some of the things our government has done but that is no reflection of who I am as an American. Unfortunately, one bad administration and their decisions is a reflection on all of us although we may not agree with their choices. The America I know is not a bully and doesn’t push their beliefs on others. I’m trying to be the American I want to be – not the kind of American others perceive us to be. Does that make sense?

4 07 2010
MOM

And besides all that, this is why we celebrate July 4th. It’s not about anything other than severing the ties with “them”. LOL

Significance The day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress Date July 4
Celebrations Fireworks, Family reunions, Concerts, Barbecues, Picnics, Parades, Baseball games In the United States, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States

4 07 2010
Dad

I get where you’re coming from. My view: the United States of America is the best idea humankind has ever had on how to allow people to organize themselves around the concept of personal liberty, and I am proud — indeed, in awe — of our founders and their wisdom. That said, we are hugely imperfect, just better than the rest. Some of my dissatisfaction emerges from a notion that nations, tribes,religions, political parties etc. are basically a bad idea. They serve to organize, which we seem to need, but they also serve to exclude and to provide a nucleus for demonization of others. Too bad we can’t think of humankind as one big tribe to which we all belong and blow off the rest of it. That said, if any group of people can figure this out, it will be Americans. So I say enjoy the 4th for what it is — a joyous remembrance of a great step forward for liberty-loving people — and a reminder there’s still much to do.

11 09 2010
LG

I wish I would have seen this post sooner. I’m not an American patriot either. You could even go so far as to call me “anti-America.” I actually turn AWAY from the flag during the playing of the anthem.

I’m neither glad nor proud to be an American, and I have every intention of leaving America and permanently renouncing my US citizenship, for reasons (and more) that you mentioned.

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