“If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag.”
How patriotic are you? I ask this question knowing full well that I cannot fully answer it myself. Sure, I can flesh out different aspects of it but I definitely struggle with pledging my allegiance to any flag or country. Perhaps it is my cynical nature or the fact that I wasn’t born here, though my parents are both from Ohio, so American patriotism isn’t ingrained in me but to put it simply, I just don’t bleed red, white and blue (thought that would be cool). I am certainly not ashamed of the USA mind you but I’m not a strong advocate either so what the BLEEP am I? So, in the spirit of questioning all of this, I created a short ‘patriotism’ quiz to test myself, and anyone who reads this, in the hopes of forcing personal contemplation. Here goes….
- Are you an American citizen? Were you born here? – yes, no (born in Bolivia)
- Do you consider yourself to be American? – yes (but not always proudly)
- Do you support the American president? – yes (this one but not all)
- Do you believe that the USA is a great country? – yes (flaws and all)
- Do you pledge allegiance to the USA? no (only to God)
- Would your give your life for your country? – no (only for God or family)
- Have you lived in the USA your entire life? Do you plan to for the rest of your life? – no, not likely
- Are you grateful for the opportunities the US has given you? – yes (absolutely)
- Do you believe in war? Do you agree with US military involvement overseas? – no, no (not normally)
- Do you support the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and government systems? – yes (loaded question but yes overall)
Well, how did I do? Did I “pass?” This is a test of my own creation that I realize is absolutely flawed and imperfect but it was helpful to think about the questions, and answers, as the ‘Independence Day’ fast approaches. Nonetheless, I know that I will continue to struggle all of this, especially as we it is nearly time to “celebrate” America. One thing I do know is that I am jealous of any person that has a true passion for their country and yes I am including folks that I consider to be ignorant that parade their strong beliefs with millions of car flags, flag bandanas and the like. It is easier to simply not care, which is what the cool, educated people do, but I truly want to care.
So enjoy patriotism you patriots and, as the title quote clearly states, wave that flag that you love so much and know that some of us can only dream to be as ‘unashamed’ as you are…