Patriotic Ignorance

Are you patriotic? What does being patriotic mean to you?


How can the word “patriotic” not be generally associated with the land of the free, home of the brave?

It’s always been red, white, and blue to me and there’s no way I would think of it any other way.

Telling a person in Britain, Germany, or even Japan that they are being patriotic might be insulting because they don’t want to associate their selves with American culture (other than getting all of our American TV programming, listening to our music, and following our American stars). But in fact, patriotism is not just central to America. It is a word that means “having or expressing devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country”. How ignorant I was to never know it had a universal meaning. Yeah, I just found that out today after a search on Bing. Oh, you thought I was going to say Google? Screw it, I’m a rebel.

Actually, a lot of Americans are ignorant about this word. To them (and me) it always brings up images of the stars and stripes, heroes of the Revolutionary War against Britain, our founders and the signing of the Declaration, the fourth of July, fireworks and sparklers, and the deep love for their homeland where 43 men (excluding Washington) have resided in a building with a racially suggestive title. I guess I was never told that in school, the word always being exclusively preached from an American perspective. A patriotic Brazilian? Sounds like an oxymoron or a weird hybrid of sorts. Makes me a bit nauseous to think of it used in any sense other than American. I’m not being a nationalist here but simply stating my honest opinion.

When I first saw this prompt idea today, the first thought that came to my head was, “Hey, how about I look for a picture of an American flag I took a while back and use it as the feature image today?” Because that is my thinking of America always being the center of everything. When I look at a globe or map, the United States is always my initial starting point and the other countries are just my “travel destinations”. I’m sure people in England or Australia use their own countries as the focal points on globes. I’m sure versions of Google Maps and Earth in other places are programmed differently to not seem too “patriotic” in the American sense. I’m also sure other countries thought of their own homeland today or just looked at this prompt in disgust and said “this is just another propaganda stunt for the USA!”

Doing a quick image search for ‘patriotic’ on Bing brings up an entire page of images associated with the United States. I’m sure I don’t have to do the same thing on Google and other search engines to really drive home the point that “patriotic” is an exclusive American word.

Who cannot say that the United States of America is the epicenter of the world? What is the one place every one wants to go to live the “Dream”? America, that’s where. We are the melting pot. When this country was first being settled, millions of people from European lands came here to escape from persecution and control from royal authority. They came here because there was opportunity for jobs and to live a great life. When they first crossed into the New York Harbor and saw The Statue of Liberty, a rush of relief came over them as if they were leaving their worries behind and were finally going to reside in a land of paradise. But, oh, little did they know that this “great land” had troubles of its own and wasn’t exactly pie in the sky. No, there was deep roots of slavery, hatred, prejudice, and violence going on. Women weren’t even allowed to vote. Native Americans were being killed and restricted to smaller and smaller portions of land unapologetically called reservations. So they wanted to come to America because stars were in their eyes? Well, they never read the fine print, did they?


Rose colored glasses aside, the America today is a great place to live. We have nearly the best of everything in Hollywood and the film industry, all of the top websites are based in or around California, our automotive industry is thriving and improving, and the culture of sports and entertainment could not be any richer. The beautiful scenery is also endless, my trips to Northern Michigan and the Great Lakes being an example. We have maybe the best military and war technologies in the world, many of them I could only dream of. We also are the birthplace of the current number one golfer in the world, Jordan Spieth! I love my country. It is second to none in my mind, not even China that is associated with the word “sweatshop”. Now, about that outrageous debt…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Pledge Allegiance.”