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What You Should Know About American Patriotism

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Like a strong marriage, most Americans love their country for better or for worse. For a proud American, patriotism goes beyond national celebrations and knowing the lyrics of the national anthem. It is a love for the values of the country and what they stand for. It’s the appreciation of the freedom that America fought so hard for, to pass down to generation after generation. This love is displayed in different ways; from defending the country in dire times to showing unity when things seem to polarize. 

The more patriotic people are, the stronger America becomes, so here’s what you should know about American patriotism. 

The American Constitution

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the US Constitution has only been amended 17 times since it was first written 241 years ago. Not every right or duty was explicitly laid out in the Constitution, so the Bill of Rights was added. Such principles as the freedom of speech, religion, and press are some of the 10 Amendments of the Bill of Rights. One of the most inspiring phrases illustrating patriotism is written in the American Constitution. It states a self-evident truth, which is that  God created all men equal with certain unalienable rights, that entitle them to a dignified life, individual liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. This prominent phrase alone describes a big part of the meaning behind American patriotism. This can be better understood when we look at parts of this phrase separately.

Self-Evident Truth

The American Forefathers saw that it was clear and no proof was needed to justify that all men are created equal by their Creator. All people have the right to live in freedom and seek happiness. Self-evident means there is no debate over this. The aforementioned phrase also implicitly states that the constitution is not the progenitor of these rights, it merely codifies them into law.

All Men are Created Equal

This phrase holds two equally important meanings. First, it emphasizes that we are all equal, regardless of race, color, gender, etc. Since we all start as equals, everyone has the chance and opportunity to be what they want and pursue the life they desire. The other meaning is a political message illustrating that Americans have leaders, not rulers. The presidency is a leadership role, not a position that implies ruling subjects. This gives Americans the political freedom to disagree with their leader while still upholding the values of the nation. America has always been known as the land of opportunity. Everyone has the right to strive for the American dream, and their democratic approach to politics, as well as daily life, means anyone can be whoever they want to be.

American Flag Etiquette

The Constitution doesn’t discuss the American flag, either, which Americans strongly identify with. All matters concerning the flag are addressed in the United States Flag Code. There are certain etiquettes to know regarding the treatment of the flag, such as how to display it in public areas as well as on your personal property. For instance, the flag should never touch anything beneath it. There are also proper ways to dispose of flags that have been worn out. Many people might not be aware that several states require that all american flags sold in those states are to be manufactured in the US. Other states require that certain flags, such as flags used in schools, to be manufactured within the United States. To be a true patriot, you must know and follow the proper etiquette when proudly displaying your flag. Americans identify strongly with their flag and are proud to display and wave it, especially on special days like Memorial Day in May, Flag Day in June, and of course, Independence Day in July.  

Unalienable Rights

Even if you wanted to, you cannot relinquish unalienable rights. They are our natural rights and cannot be taken away from us. The Declaration of Independence uses Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness as examples of those rights. The Pursuit of Happiness is a phrase that has been interpreted differently over the years from the time the founding fathers wrote it. It would seem that it implies chasing happiness where you have the right to go after it. But it’s commonly thought to imply more of practicing happiness on a daily basis, rather than going after fleeting moments of happiness. You have the right to seek happiness as long as it doesn’t violate other people’s rights. For the founding fathers, the pursuit of happiness was the foundation of life and liberty.

Americans express their patriotism in many ways. Their patriotism lies in upholding the values and beliefs of their country and not the personal agendas of individual leaders. America can only keep advancing when they let their patriotism lead them. So far, this is what works best for the great nation, making it one of the strongest and richest countries in the world.

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