The History of American Nationalism
When looking at modern day American politics and culture many controversial topics come to mind, one of those topics that comes to mind is whether or not America as a whole is patriotic or nationalist.Patriotism means to show loyalty and respect for ones country because of what that country has done. Nationalism means to stand by your country no matter what, it means to see your country as superior to others.When asking the question on weather or not America it really boils down to what sources and what does America it’s self feel about their stand on the topic, and in many ways America would say yes, weather it comes to kneeling for the national anthem or serving your country in the army there are many ways that Americans prove themselves as patriotic.
The first point that I discovered that proves American culture as patriotic is celebrating their national anthem before sports game. This is a timeless tradition Americans use to show patriotism before playing sports. This shows American patriotism because those who participate in the pre game ceremony are honouring their country by standing up and taking off their hat. Those who participate are also honouring those who had given their lives to serve America. “The more than 1.2 million Americans who have died because of war. We stand for soldiers who initially inspired our national anthem, such as William Williams, a runaway slave who later died after having his leg blown off as part of the 38th U.S. Infantry at the Battle of Fort McHenry. We also stand for more recent heroes, such as Robert Kelly, the son of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a marine lieutenant who died in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan in 2010 Jane Hampton Cook. This paragraph in Janes article is a perfect explanation of why Americans stand for the national anthem. Some may say that the national anthem is used to separate and divide America, however, if you look at the context and the reason Americans stand and celebrate the national anthem it is really to unite America and show appreciation for its heroic and brave past. “The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles,” George Washington, our first president, declared in his farewell address in 1796. Jane Hampton Cook.
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Janes statement makes intelligible that the word American apples to those who would apply the word to themselves, wether you are from New York or Texas as she said it all boils down to the simple word “American that we are all one and celebrating the anthem is used to unite.
The second way that Americans can show their patriotism as a culture is their ability to vote when they are citizens. Voting shows that you care for your country’s future and you have interest in what agenda you must live under. Those who don’t care to vote are those that show little interest in their country and in their leadership, voting not only gives you security but it also makes you feel a connection to your country, it involves you and unties people and that’s not a feeling everyone in America can feel. People also vote because they care for what their children live in, and if that’s not genuine patriotism then I don’t know what is.
When talking about patriotism it’s second nature to bring up what veterans have done for America so what comes next is how we repay our veterans for their duty’s, standing up and showing respect during the national anthem before sports games is one way, but another that Americans can show patriotism and respect towards veterans is taking care of them first hand. As many people who live in America know, veterans often find it hard to obtain employment when retiring from their duty’s. Employing veterans is a great way to show respect for your country. Weather you employ veterans into small businesses or something as little as sending care packages to those whom served is an amazing way to fulfill a patriotic duty for America
Taking a look at American politics and the role it plays in patriotism in America it’s hard to see the light because of the big cloud in office, however even with his flaws Donald trump has done some good in office that could qualify for a stamp of patriotic approval. “He enacted historic tax and regulatory reform that has unleashed economic growth. Trump signed the first comprehensive tax reform in three decades and removed the wet blanket of Obama-era regulations smothering our economy. We are now heading into our third consecutive quarter of above 3 percent growth.
Putting aside all his backwards antics and stunts this is some good that he’s done for the country and in a way it shows a form of patriotism, he allows Americans more privilege in America and in his own way that can be qualified as patriotism.
One very extreme yet very honourable way of showing your patriotism and pride in America is by joining the military, without having to dive into facts and statistics it’s clear to see why this is patriotic, it allows those who believe deeply in their country to have the opportunity to defend it. I’ve looked at this method from every angle and none point towards nationalism in any way.
Another way America has shown their patriotic stripes is by setting clear and strict guidelines when it comes to representing and respecting the American flag. Taking care of the American flag may seem crazy and a little extra to some, however to Americans it means much more than just a wave. Some of the guidelines to the flag consist of, When the flag is hung vertically on a wall, window, or door, the Union (blue section) should be to the observer’s left. When the flag is hung either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the Union should be to the observer’s left.In a procession, the American flag should be to the right of any other flag or, if in a line of other flags, in front of the centre of that line. When displayed from a staff projecting from a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff.When the flag is displayed otherwise than by being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out; or so suspended that its folds fall as freely as though the flag were staffed.When displayed over a street, the flag should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street, or to the east in a north and south street.
No matter how drastic and crazy some of these may seem it was always the intent to show respect for the American flag and in showing respect comes showing patriotism.
All In all America is a country of patriotism and as I went into detail and looked over and analyzed everything, how can America as a whole really be nationalistic when the intent from the beginning was to show respect for one country, those who take a nationalist approach towards their country are just one of the many flaws that America contains in what is a very beautiful nation, and what is a nation without its flaws. In summary America as a whole (cultural/political) shows its patriotic stripes wether its voting for its next president or helping out military vets when they have served their well fought and respected time as honourable and patriotic citizens.