Here’s What Patriotism Looks Like

Here's What Patriotism Looks Like

( – Patriotism is one of the fundamental components defining the essence of an individual’s identification with and devotion to national pride. It’s a shared sense of community and alliance with fellow citizens who share the same loyalty to the country.

The working definition of patriotism and its various components has evolved. Derived from ancient Greece, the word patriotism originally emphasized a person’s willingness to fight and die for their political community. The Greeks believed in two forms of patriotism:

  1. “Higher Patriotism,” which concentrated on the common identity associated with the Greeks as a distinct cultural group of people.
  2. “Lower Patriotism,” which focused on the smaller city-states or “polis.”

This duality inherent in ancient Greek life meant a person was loyal to Greece as a whole and to his city-state, which led to the rise of many of the infamous ancient Greek wars.

Elements of Patriotism in the Modern Era

The rise of modern nation-states, or countries, altered the direction of patriotism, particularly when societies were confronted with a wide range of challenges from conflicting ideological systems to the rise of globalism.

Implicit within the framework of modern patriotism is the development of a social contract among members of a country involving self-identification with the greater community which connects past, present, and future.

For instance, the United States enjoys the Founding Fathers’ vision as laid out in the Constitution, which continues to govern the nation-state into the present while on its way to the future.

Elements of modern patriotism include a special affection for one’s country, concern for its future, a willingness to sacrifice for the greater good, and a sense of personal identification with one’s homeland.

Modern patriotism also means participating in the great community through voting in local and national elections, paying taxes, becoming involved in local government and institutions.

Patriotism is more than saying, “America, love it, or leave it!” It’s about assuming your role as a contributing member of society while respecting the individual rights of others and embracing the rights handed down to all Americans by the Founders.

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