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Paper Topic:

Definition Analysis on Patriotism

Definition Analysis on Patriotism

According to the American Heritage Dictionary , patriotism can be defined as :love and devotion to one 's country . This seems a broad enough definition for a word that is often used by people , but seldom closely examined . One person 's practice of patriotism might be regarded as treason by another and visa-versa . In modern day America it is assumed that to be patriotic is a virtue , especially in times of national crisis . This will look at the uncertainty surrounding what the word actually means in reality


9 /11 /2001 the USA was attacked by terrorists and for a time afterwards it became very fashionable for people to fly American flags to flag stickers on their cars with we support our troops ' on them But can this really be regarded as love ' or even devotion ' to one 's country . It might be argued that it is very easy to put a sticker on one 's car : it takes a few second and then the person can forget about it . If this is what it means to be patriotic ' then it doesn 't seem to mean very much at all

Other definitions of patriotism include support for the government 's policy of the time . Thus those who supported the Vietnam war were regarded as patriotic (good ) by the Nixon administration and those who did not were regarded as unpatriotic (bad . But the majority of Americans came to oppose the war , and so was the American government actually unpatriotic through going against their wishes

The question needs to be asked of what a country ' is . If a country is made up of the people who live in it , which seems a sensible definition , then it is patriotic to support what the majority of them support . This definition of patriotism will thus change with the changing opinions of the people . At one moment it may be patriotic to support a war (when the majority support it ) and at another unpatriotic (when a majority are against it

If country is something more than just the group of individuals who happen to be citizens of it then patriotism can be extended even further . If a country is an idea , then the post unpopular ideas might be regarded as patriotic . Defending a country may take vision for the future . Thus environmental groups might be regarded as patriotic because they seek to preserve the American landscape for future generations

It becomes clear that the word patriotism means a myriad of different things . This is not a bad thing as it shows that there is a variety of ideas , as is necessary within a free society . Often people accuse others of being unpatriotic ' simply because they disagree with what the other person is saying . This is a bad trend within the country . It shows a very narrow point of view and definition of patriotism . What happens if an opinion changes in the course of someone 's life , as often happens

Patriotism should be...

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