Defining Patriotism

Frank Miller, comic book author, wrote about being a rebel, rebelling against his parents’ WWII beliefs and attitudes and thinking the flag was an old piece of cloth. Then came September 11th.

For the first time in my life, I know how it feels to face an existential menace. They want us to die. All of a sudden I realize what my parents were talking about all those years.

Patriotism, I now believe, isn’t some sentimental, old conceit. It’s self-preservation. I believe patriotism is central to a nation’s survival. Ben Franklin said it: If we don’t all hang together, we all hang separately. Just like you have to fight to protect your friends and family, and you count on them to watch your own back.

So you’ve got to do what you can to help your country survive. That’s if you think your country is worth a damn. Warts and all.

So I’ve gotten rather fond of that old piece of cloth. Now, when I look at it, I see something precious. I see something perishable.

I appreciate this so much. I remember when we used to say “Love it or leave it.” I know people don’t want to leave and I think that is because they know it’s the best country. (I might be prejudiced there, but if they don’t think it’s the best, why wouldn’t they leave?)

Found via Dynamist’s Blog

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