General Question

MilkyWay's avatar

Are you proud of your country?

Asked by MilkyWay (13685points) May 15th, 2012

Why or why not?
When you celebrate moments like Independance day, or a Jubilee, do you get out your country’s flag in joy and happiness?
When and if you do, what are you representing? Just the fact that your proud to be a (——) Citizen, or does it go deeper than that?
Does it mean you are proud of what your countries ideologies are?
Does it mean you are proud of your country’s history, and what it has acheived throughout time?
And do you think being from an ethnic minority, you should be less, or not at all, proud of your Western country, because of horrible things that happened in the past?
Be nice guys, just trying to make sense of something someone said to me today. I was wearing a Union Jack locket to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. Still am.
And last of all, do you think being a patriot, or a nationalist, is stupid or silly? Do you think it is immature?

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52 Answers

ucme's avatar

My tongue suggests I am & it’d be right.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I used to be. Not so much now. I’m more proud to be a Texan than I am to be an American these days.

MilkyWay's avatar

@ucme May I ask why?
@WillWorkForChocolate Why aren’t you as proud anymore?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Because when I think about America, the way it is now, I think of nothing but greedy, whiny, selfish people with entitlement issues. I think of nothing but dirty, dishonest politicians whose goal is to do what’s right for them instead of what’s right for the people they’re supposed to be serving. I think of nothing but vain, self-righteous celebrities who embarrass me all the time. I love America and what it is supposed to be, but I can’t stand most Americans these days.

ucme's avatar

@MilkyWay Of course you may. I just think it’s a natural urge for patriotism. Little our island may be, but don’t mess with us or we’ll kick your arse.
I am more proud to be seen as English though certainly.

nikipedia's avatar

Not particularly, but I’m always surprised by how much it bothers me when I hear other people (ok, mostly Europeans) criticize it.

Blackberry's avatar

No. I don’t agree with the methods they use for “success”.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I love what we are supposed to be. We have incredible freedoms. Unfortunately a lot of idiots take that as the freedom to be an ass. In all kinds of ways. That hurts me to see it.

ragingloli's avatar

I would like to think that I am not. Nationalism of any kind, including the euphemism “patriotism” is a plague of the mind.

jca's avatar

I am. It’s not a perfect country but there is probably no such thing.

tom_g's avatar

No. Not at all.

But I suppose it has to do with what I consider the question to mean. I suppose one can think of amazing things that individual people have done who happen to be citizens of the U.S.. But this is not really what is meant by the question. It is really about the government, right? An assessment of the government’s foreign and domestic policy? I am not proud of my government.

Qingu's avatar

I think a country of 300 million people is too big and complicated and multifaceted a thing to be “proud of.”

There are elements of my country that I’m proud of and elements of which I am ashamed.

tom_g's avatar

Additionally, there is the question of the term “proud”. I am not sure what it would take for me to feel pride in the country I happened to be born in. As @ragingloli mentions, I think pride in country and nationalism is too blurry a line for me.

GladysMensch's avatar

No. I see our country torturing people and changing the terms of long held treaties to support it. I see our country starting wars that cost $trillions while applauding politicians for kicking children off of health care. I see our country as a place where the corporations and the wealthy hold all the power and common people are beaten by police when peacefully protesting. I see our country devaluating education. I love my country, but I am not proud of the way my country is acting.

MilkyWay's avatar

@GladysMensch Okay, why do you love your country then?

rebbel's avatar

I am proud of certain people (and their achievements) that live in my country, be they from here or (originally) from an other country.
Not that proud of the country as a whole not ‘unproud’ either, by the way.
It is a rather unusual stance to me; proudness of countries.

Qingu's avatar

Come on, you naysayers.

Americans and American organizations invented electric power, computers, and the Internet. Maybe “pride” isn’t the right word, but I think such accomplishments are pretty cool, and are of world-historical importance. I’m sure we can think of other examples.

Maybe you could argue that the fact such inventions came into being in America is incidental, but I don’t think it is. Likewise, the accomplishments of Arab scientists during the Golden Age of Islam probably could not have happened in other places during that period of time. There was something unique about the culture of the Islamic Empire during the golden age that fostered such innovations; there has probably likewise been something unique about American culture that fosters recent innovations too.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m not big on school spirit and rah rah. Patriotism, to me, is pretty much school spirit writ large.

I belong here because this is where I was born and this is what I know, and I feel like it is meaningful to try to make my community better. I want to help people do better. I understand the rules here and the context and can work most effectively here. This is where the people who know me live.

I am not proud of the things my country has done in the rest of the world. I am not proud of the way my country treats poor people. I am not proud of the excesses of our cultural imperialism.

But we are a work in progress and I think we continue to improve and become more sensitive to the rest of the world and to other cultures. Sometimes it is hard to show this, but this isn’t just a redneck nation. We also have many centers of academic excellence and people who do understand other parts of the world.

We have things that I am proud of and things I am not proud of. Big whoop. That’s the way it always is. Individuals are not perfect. Neither are countries. I would not give my life for my country, but I would work hard for it. I do work hard for it. I try to improve my country every day. But not just my country. I want to help people throughout the world, and my loyalty is to humankind in general, not to any particular nation.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have lived in 7 different countries on 4 different continents, so I have thought long and hard about what it means to be a citizen of the US.

Am I glad about it? Yes.

Am I knowledgeable of my country’s history? Yes, very.

Am I proud? I’m with some of the other jellies in this thread. That’s a difficult term. Nationalism is a new phenomenon that arose only as recently as the early nineteenth century. It’s not a terribly old idea, and in my opinion, it’s not a terribly helpful idea. Pride is an emotion, and pride in something as large as a country may be misplaced. Emotions are ephemeral and probably have no place in serious thought about something like a nation. Emotions are easily manipulated by charismatic speakers and special events.

Having said all that, do I gladly celebrate Independence Day? You betcha! July the Fourth is my birthday! Whoopee! It’s a party every year, and I get fireworks. What could be better?

ragingloli's avatar

Americans and American organizations invented electric power, computers, and the Internet
All these were discovered/invented by Brits. Just Saiyan.

jerv's avatar

Not any more. In fact, I am almost ashamed to have ever served in the military.

That is largely due to the Conservatives pushing an anti-gay, anti-women, fuck the poor, burn the non-believers agenda with a scary degree of success.

GladysMensch's avatar

@MilkyWay I love that I can still say “I’m not proud of my country.” I love that our country has a justice system where people are presumed innocent. However, I think our justice system could use some overhauling. I love the creativity of our country (music, television (not reality tv), films, gaming).

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m with @WillWorkForChocolate. I’m proud of the ideals of this nation and the people who support and represent those ideals.

I’m not at all proud of chauvinists, jingoists and those who lord it over others because “We’re much better off than you are in your poor, benighted country.”

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes and No. I am proud my country has the opportunities it does, somewhat fluid social class and a lot of resources. I am not proud of a lot of it’s history. My families were people who actively drove native people from their lands and then lived to see those same lands taken from them by American Expansion from the East. I like modern America and what I hope future America can be.

reijinni's avatar

Not with the way the conservative are ruining the country. Forcing religion down everybody throats, believing that their religion is the only religion and the laws must reflect that. What I want is a country free from control and influence of the religious scumbags.

Fly's avatar

Regarding patriotism and nationalism, I will never be a patriot or a nationalist. Patriotism and nationalism are similar to delusions of grandeur, in my mind. It really sickens me to see what some people will do for nationalistic reasons, and to see how blind people can become to the faults and failures of their countries out of these mindsets. I can think of very little good that comes from nationalism, but I can come up with countless examples of the dangers of nationalism. I think it is naive and very unwise to be a nationalist.

Sunny2's avatar

Pride goeth before a fall. I am proud of our variety of geography, race, religions, and technology. However, I am greatly embarrassed by our standards in politics, humanity, war decisions and the greed and personal self interest that foster these current standards. There has been a great change in my lifetime, and not for the better. I think we have peaked and are on our way down. We’re in a fight and don’t realize we’ve already lost it.

thorninmud's avatar

Frankly, no. Look at our laughing-stock of a congress. Look at the new face of our Super PAC-powered electoral system. Look at how we can’t even put together a decent universal health care system. Look at how so many states are falling all over themselves to keep certain rights out of reach of certain people. Look at how the only grand projects we seem capable of undertaking as a society these days are military ones.

No, not proud. Sure, I could leave. But I’d rather stay and work for change, at least until I no longer believe that’s possible.

Aethelflaed's avatar

No. Aside from my deep distrust of nationalism and patriotism, my country doesn’t do things that make me proud. There are certain ideals that, in theory, it seeks to uphold – free speech/religion/press/assembly, the right to a fair trial, equality under the law, etc. But in reality, the government does such a poor job of treating anyone who isn’t an older, rich, white, heterosexual, male like they have rights that I can’t feel pride.

I love fireworks, though…

XOIIO's avatar

I’m not american, so yes.


28lorelei's avatar

Hmm, as a citizen of two countries, I will have an interesting time trying to answer this question.
US: Hmm, not with the way they handle things. See @thorninmud‘s response above.
Finland: Yes, things are handled far better than in the US. People pay high taxes, but there is such a thing as universal health care, college is free, people receive retirement from the government, unemployment is good, and although the church and state aren’t separate, the church doesn’t interfere much with anything. Plus, an EU passport means you are treated like a citizen in any EU nation :)

Thammuz's avatar

I’m Italian, anything we had to be proud about ended the day the Roman Empire fell.

After that, we’ve been unremarkable, for the most part. Some good artists, a couple of history defining movements, but mostly infighting and kissing the pope’s ass.

Hell, we weren’t even a country at all for a considerable amount of time. The last time Italy has comprised all the regions it is made of now was, again, under the romans’ rule.

And now, what are we? A country known all around the western world for the most inappropriate and corrupt political leader since the end of WWII, a country whose main export is shitty fashion sold all aroun the world as if it were gold, incredibly technologically illiterate and proud of its stillness in a world that asks nothing more than to be finally allowed to leave it behind, much like many of its inhabitants are doing, the same way you leave behind a bad relationship, or that last attack of taco shits.

So no, I’m not proud. I’m not proud because I’m not stupid. I would never be proud of a nation to begin with, no nation is perfect, but if i ever had to choose a nation to be proud of, it sure as hell wouldn’t be this one.

woodcutter's avatar

Mainly as living someplace else would be shit, so yeah…I suppose. Using a lot of effort trying to survive and don’t think about it much.

Now if it all goes to shit where the blue helmets come to pin us down I will probably feel the urge to be violently patriotic, yeah.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think Nationalism in all it’s forms is very short sighted, but since that is the world I live in, I consider myself very lucky to have been born into the best there is to offer.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think pride in one’s country is logical or desirable. So, no I’m not proud of the U.S. And, no, that doesn’t mean I should ‘move and go live elsewhere.’

Aethelflaed's avatar

@nikipedia That bothers me, too. I think it’s because it normally comes up as this unnecessary, backhanded insult. If the issue at hand is, is American the best ever, then sure, fair game. But when America’s awesomeness or lack thereof is not the issue being discussed, those insults sound a lot more like saying “you, simply by virtue of living in this country that is horrible in x ways, are horrible in x ways, and I, simply by virtue of living in a country that is awesome on the x front, and by extension better than you on the issue of x.”

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I too am Canadian and like most of us there are a number of roles played by Canada in the past and today that we admire. There are also parts of our past history that we deplore such as the internment of people of Japanese origin and confiscation of their property during WWII. Our past and even current mistreatment of Native Peoples of Canada brings demands for change and compensation not only from them and their descendants but from those Canadians whose ancestors were responsible for these crimes but for those us us who still benefit from their mistreatment.

Being Nationalistic and Patriot requires people to deny injustices of the past and present committed by their governments. It requires internalizing the lies that were and still are used as excuses for one’s Country’s abuses of the rights and properties of others.

There are great contributions that have been made and continue to be made in Universities that continue to strive to be centres of excellence in research and teaching. There are still people suffering from our past research funded by the CIA on the uses of LSD on unsuspecting patients.

Our Military has repeatedly played important roles as part of international peacekeeping efforts. Our country’s efforts in helping emerging 3rd world nation deserve admiration.
At the same time their have been important oversights and at times worse than that in our attempts to play peacekeeping roles in places where multiple factions have yet to commit to peace. We find it hard to overlook failures and abuses that were committed or tolerated in those situations.

We Canadians are not unpatriotic. We are to some extent less inclined to shine up our proofs of success and to deny or conceal evidence of past failures and grievous errors.

We often see the glowing pride and enthusiastic flag waving of our American neighbours and we may wonder why we don’t seem to call on such unified unswerving pride and demonstrate it publicly.

Our neighbours seem to find it easy to be “As American as Apple Pie.”

We are “As Canadian as possible under the circumstances!”

Berserker's avatar

Not much of a patriot, but I do enjoy and admire my country. (Canada, although I was born in France) Compared to so many other countries where governments suck it hard and people get treated like shit, I’m sure glad to live here.

rooeytoo's avatar

I was lucky to live in the USA and I am lucky to live in Australia. They are not perfect but the life of the citizens is a lot better and we enjoy many more freedoms and privileges than many others I have visited. And really I have yet to find the perfect country, they are all run by people or a person and since humans have flaws so do countries.

tinyfaery's avatar

I have a country?

Mariah's avatar

I definitely don’t believe in feeling proud of a country just because I happen to live in it. Pride is something that is earned. Has America earned my pride? I dunno. I think the ideas upon which it was founded are admirable. But I’d be more proud if we didn’t allocate 37 times more money to the military than we do to NASA. I’d be more proud if we could agree that caring for our hungry and ill should be a given. I’d be more proud if people didn’t face discrimination here due to who they love.

Qingu's avatar

@ragingloli, okay. I’ll give credit to Maxwell, Turing, and Berners-Lee, if that’s what you mean. But it was Americans who actually built the useful stuff.

Nullo's avatar

Yeah, pretty much. I have some parts that I’m more proud of than others.

wildpotato's avatar

I’m not proud of my country for many reasons, but the one that drives me to want to leave is that it kind of sickens me that by my taxes, I helped to pay for the war in Iraq.

Independence Day is just a holiday. I don’t think I’ve thought about nationalism on the 4th since I was about 10.

I don’t think you can lump the US’ ideologies and history into a single category – there are parts of this I like, and parts I don’t.

Being from my ethnic minority makes me a little proud of the US, actually, on our behalf – however much I might criticize, I probably would not be alive today if America hadn’t sheltered Ashkenazi Jews (and others) who fled the Holocaust.

I do think that being patriotic or nationalist is stupid, silly, and immature, but I try to ignore that thought because I also think it’s stupid, silly, and immature to have a monolithic perspective on something so complex. I’ve been reading Matterhorn recently to try to gain more perspective on this (and because it’s a damn good read).

LostInParadise's avatar

I love collectively half the country and am at best collectively indifferent toward the other half. We seem to have become split into liberals progressives and conservatives. I love the half that lends a hand to those in need, that sees that a ship won’t float if half of it is leaking, that supports science and keeps religion out of government and that understands how much we lose when species go extinct.

I am less enamored of those who think that it is each man for himself, who trust religion over science and who are indifferent to the natural environment.

King_Pariah's avatar


Why or why not?

I find there just to be utterly no reason to be proud of my country or any country for that matter. To me, they’re all mirrors that show slightly different angles of the same ideology.

When you celebrate moments like Independance day, or a Jubilee, do you get out your country’s flag in joy and happiness?


And do you think being from an ethnic minority, you should be less, or not at all, proud of your Western country, because of horrible things that happened in the past?

Is the country different from how it was then? If it is, I think holding such things against that country would be silly. If not, then go ahead.

And last of all, do you think being a patriot, or a nationalist, is stupid or silly? Do you think it is immature?

Iffy on this one, history shows patriots and nationalists making a “positive” mark at times. However, it also shows the opposite at times as well.

mattbrowne's avatar

To me it makes more sense to be proud of what people do and what values they support.

GracieT's avatar

Not really. I’m a citizen of the US, and I don’t feel very proud of us right now. Our president has been unable to accomplish some of what he promised (although he has done some fabulous things) and his challenger’s claim to fame is that he was one of the most horrid governors ever in Massachusetts and that he is wealthy, or at least that’s his story today. (Yes, I’m slightly bitter.)

woodcutter's avatar

I’m proud of my family. The rest of the country can blow me.

synapse's avatar

Proud…unsure of that. Grateful…yes, for being born in this free country.

OpryLeigh's avatar

This year in particular has made me proud of my country. We come together so well as a nation from time to time and this year with the Jubilee and the Olympics has proven that. The atmosphere in the UK at the moment is pretty positive. This time last year, with all the riots around the country I was far from proud but I am pleased to see that we are making ammends for that dispicable behaviour and moving forward as a nation.

I’m not buying into the whole union jacks everywhere thing though. No I will not be wearing union jack undies or anything else with out flag on it just to prove I am proud, the image is starting to become a bit tacky!!

Bellatrix's avatar

I agree with @Leanne1986, watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony I am certainly reminded of the many, many things there are to be proud of in relation to my birth country. I am also proud of very many aspects relating to my adopted country. I am not blindly proud though. There are elements of both, from a historic and contemporary perspective, that I am not proud of. However, in both places citizens are able to safely comment on those things and to vote in elections to register their discontent when they do not agree with the actions of their political leaders. Something I am thankful for.

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