What Does Patriotism Mean?

Waist-length view of an African-American family greeting a returning female soldier, Richmond, Virginia
Supporting and serving in the US military is a way many people show patriotism.

On July 4th, millions of Americans will stop their regularly scheduled lives in order to celebrate the United States’ birthday. On July 4th, 1776, The United States declared itself independent, and almost 250 years later, many Americans still treasure the holiday. On Independence Day, flags fly and patriotic colors fill the air. It may lead you to wonder: What does it mean to love your nation?

Patriotism is the enthusiastic support for one’s country. However, people who consider themselves patriots can vary wildly in practice. There is a debate about the best way to show patriotism in America today.

On one hand, there are people who say they will stand up for the United States no matter what. They rally around American symbols. They wave American flags. They stand up for the national anthem. They believe that even though it has problems, our country is the best country, and we must show our pride to the world. They view this as the best way to support the United States.

On the other hand, there others who think it is patriotic to protest when the United States does something they think is wrong. They may protest American symbols such as the American flag or the national anthem. They view the best way to support the United States is to demand it live up to its promise.

Although there are varied ways of expressing patriotism, all can agree on one thing. Patriotism means to love and remain loyal to your country.

What Do You Think? Are you a patriotic person? How do you express your patriotism?

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