Patriotism | Teen Ink


January 29, 2020
By Rhiannon_4 DIAMOND, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Rhiannon_4 DIAMOND, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
62 articles 87 photos 200 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.
- Native American proverb

Do not go gentle into that good night but rage, rage against the dying of the light.
- Dylan Thomas

What is past is past -- it is the present and the future that concern us.
- Hiawatha, founder of the Iroquois Confederacy

To be a true patriot means holding dear the ideals to which you anchor yourself, the people to whom you pledge yourself, and the home to which you pride yourself, with an unwavering commitment. Being patriotic to your moral principles or those you love is true patriotism; holding blind patriotism for your country is ignorance. Boiled down to a point, I agree with Eleanor Roosevelt’s description of patriotism—“True patriotism springs from a belief in the dignity of the individual, freedom and equality not only for Americans but for all people on earth, universal brotherhood and good will, and a constant striving toward the principles and ideals on which this country was founded”—but I will elaborate more extensively on why I agree with this.

            Defining patriotism by an individual’s ideals is the truest form of patriotism. A true patriot will stand by and defend their principles against all onslaught. Many people may consider soldiers patriotic for fighting for their country, but I argue that soldiers are no more patriotic than those who defend their principles and ideals non-militarily. Let’s take Colin Kaepernick for instance. While some may claim that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s kneeling during the national anthem was the very opposite of patriotic, his action was instead the definition of patriotism: standing up—or rather, kneeling—for the sake of his beliefs. He was bashed for his actions and banned from the NFL, but he continued to stand by his ideals because he refused to accept anything less than we he viewed as right. This is an example of a true patriot, someone who is patriotic towards their ideals.

            Much like holding dear ideals with an unwavering commitment, holding dear the people and home you care about without faltering are the attributes of a true patriot. An individual who stands by their family or friends no matter what, through thick and thin, regardless of harm it may bring to themselves, is a patriot. Similarly, people who defend their home or homeland—especially in seemingly impossible situations—are patriotic. For example, the ways in which most Native American tribes defended their homelands against European marauders is an example of patriotism, because many Native Americans gave their lives to protect the land they had inhabited for thousands of years, while also showing patriotism by defending their families and ideals—a perfect example of all three forms of patriotism.

            While many may claim that patriotism is simply loving and supporting your country—nationalism fits this claim better—a true patriot is much more than that. A true patriot is somebody who defends their ideals, loved ones, and home above all else and without bowing, not simply someone who waves their country’s flag.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Mar. 17 2021 at 5:17 pm
SergeantSteel82 GOLD, Fort Wayne, Indiana
11 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
one of the greatest tragedies of our time is this impression that has been created that science and religion have to be at war.
-Francis Collins

I may never let go of my anger and wrath,
But I will always have the last laugh.
-Corey Taylor

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Did you used to be named Summer_R_Quinn??