Tied to deep emotions, you’re telling us “Patriotism” is not a simple value

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   Patriotism — love of country — has been our theme this week. It elicited an array of Comments from OurValues.org readers.
    Patriotism is not simple, you told us. We started the week by describing four types of patriotism: love of American symbols, blind love, tough love, and identification with America.
    Greg, Beth, and Kmonster described their patriotism as tough love: love of America coupled with constructive criticism, challenging the nation to live up to its ideals.
    Eoghan and Kmonster talked about American symbols, prompted by the disclosure of my “unpatriotic” act: removing the American flag and flagpole from our family’s sailboat for safety reasons. Kmonster told us how his great-great-grandfather made the family stand whenever the Star Spangled Banner played. Eoghan brought back images of the flag and Vietnam — images that I remember all too well.
    Several Comments also highlighted the complexities of emotions about American symbols — how our affection for them can change, depending on how the symbols are used (and abused) and by whom.

    Race was also a theme this week, connected to patriotism in Comments about Obama’s patriotism and the patriotism of immigrants in general. Eoghan Farguhar and Ms. Aquino-Hughes engaged in a lively debate about these issues, illustrating the importance of race and politics in America. Among other things, these Comments remind us that race is not “just” about genetics; it is a social construction.
    Next week we’ll take up explicitly the theme of race and politics, looking at the “race card” and the negative turn in campaign ads. Be sure to tune in again on Monday. There’ll be a new Quick Poll about race and politics.

Please, join the discussion! If you’re just catching up this weekend, scroll through the various thoughts and questions posted this week. We invite you to ADD your Comment to the discussion, PROPOSE a new topic we should consider or
TAKE our Quick Poll. And, please, consider signing up for our more
in-depth values survey by adding your email to the box in the left corner of
our Web site. (You can click there to learn more about the in-depth
survey.)

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