According to statistics, 65% of Americans are incredibly proud to be American. Patriotism goes beyond nationalism, characterized by ‘us versus them’ rhetoric; it is a feeling of admiration, love, devotion, and loyalty for the nation.
Although actions speak louder than words sound like an old cliché, it applies to patriotism. Loving one’s country goes beyond saying it. Here are seven different ways to show patriotism towards the nation.
What better way to show you’re a proud American than wearing patriotic t-shirts? In fact, 51% of Americans have patriotically-branded clothing. Patriotic t-shirts are made from quality materials and come in numerous styles, colors, graphics, and slogans, allowing you to express your great love for your nation elegantly.
Good choices for patriotic t-shirts are the Vintage American flag t-shirt and those with bold statements like Patriotic, and I Love America. You can wear patriotic t-shirts any day or on holidays such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day. Consider joining monthly t-shirt clubs to get unique tees and enjoy massive discounts.
You cannot be patriotic to a nation you know nothing about. As such, take time to learn your country’s history and stay updated on current affairs and happenings. The US has a rich and intriguing history dating back to 15,000 BC before the nation acquired its present name. From Christopher Columbus’s discovery to the formation of the USA, the civil war, and the American Revolution, there’s much to learn about American history. Some events will shock, challenge, inspire, and make you proud.
It also pays to learn the country’s current affairs, such as the state of the economy, healthcare, politics, and local and federal government. For instance, what problems are we currently facing? In addition, familiarize yourself with the nation’s weaknesses and how to handle them. Reading books and articles will give you insights into your country, past and present.
While paying taxes is mandatory, it is also a show of patriotism. Mark Cuban, a prominent billionaire investor, once said getting rich and paying huge taxes shows patriotism and helps support the less privileged. He affirms that people should pay taxes to add value and benefit fellow citizens.
Taxes allow the government to fund essential services like healthcare and education, support vital government agencies like the military, and reimburse state and government employees. Filing taxes has personal benefits, and you get seamless loan approvals, visa applications, and tax refund claims.
Many Americans own a flag. While this is an obvious sign of patriotism, many people do not know what the American flag symbolizes or how to handle it appropriately. Firstly, the flag depicts freedom and liberty with 13 alternating red and white stripes and 50 white stars in a blue field. The stripes symbolize the 13 original colonies, while the stars represent the 50 states.
Since the flag symbolizes America and its people, it should be handled diligently and respectfully. For instance, it should not touch anything beneath it, like the ground or floor, and never have anything placed on it or used for advertising. Also, the flag should be stored cautiously to prevent damage or soiling.
Related reading: American Independence Day – A Brief History
While every American 18 years and older has the right to vote in presidential and midterm elections. Regrettably, low voter turnout characterizes most American polls, with 62.8% of the voting population participating in the 2020 general elections. Amidst these sad statistics, people can show their patriotism by voting in elections. It is important to remember that many people worldwide do not have the freedom to vote like many Americans centuries ago.
Voting is beneficial and for a good reason. First, every vote counts and affects life quality for you, your family, and your community. Second, since every person pays taxes, voting determines how this money is spent. Lastly, voting is an opportunity for change, giving you a voice in social, political, and economic issues.
The US Census Bureau reports that in 2021, the US had 16.5 million veterans. These veterans shaped American history by devoting their lives to serving on active duty and protecting our freedom. Unfortunately, many veterans experience homelessness, health problems, employment issues, and mental health disorders. For example, seven out of 100 veterans have PTSD.
You can express your patriotism by showing kindness and helping veterans. That can be by helping them with housework, sending them care packages, buying from veteran-run businesses, or supporting courses dedicated to veterans.
Celebrating national holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and MLK Day is an excellent way to show patriotism. Celebrated on the third Monday of January, MLK Day recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr, who continues to inspire American generations. National holidays allow the nation to unite, reflect and commemorate historical events, celebrate accomplishments, and honor national heroes.
Related reading: Public Holidays in the United States
There’re many ways of demonstrating patriotism towards your nation, from flying flags to buying branded t-shirts, paying taxes, and voting in state and federal elections. However, loving and being devoted to your country does not mean regarding other nations as inferior, conforming to propaganda, or ignoring its failures. It involves loving your country, acknowledging its flaws, and wanting to see it thrive.
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