Patriotism is the positive feeling towards a person's homeland or adoptive land. These feelings can develop for many reasons: cultural, historical or popular.

Patriotism is love of the country, and this is defined as the place to which a person feels they belong, whether it is their homeland or not; it is usually linked to the idea of ​​country or nation. These feelings are usually encouraged through numerous symbols that arouse the union of the different inhabitants and their country. Examples of these symbols are the anthem, the national flag, or heroes or conquerors who have given the country prestige internationally.

The term, depending on the time and the people that adopted it, had one or another meaning. In ancient Greece, patriotism was loyalty to the institutions and traditions that made up the city-state. The barbarians, for example, were peoples with a high nomadic component, and they did not feel the attachment of other civilizations to their land of origin, since the conquest of new territories and the rise of new locations was very frequent.

The concept of patriotism is recovered during the French Revolution. The instigators of the revolution and the builders of the new nation encouraged patriotism and nationalism as fundamental pillars of the new national order. Instilling these values ​​from the most elementary education meant the creation of citizens loyal to the republic, whose ideals –based on equality– would be assured.Therefore, we can affirm that patriotism is a fundamental element in the construction and consolidation of the nation states that we know today.

Characteristics of patriotism

Based on what has been described so far, they emanate a series of characteristics typical of patriotism.

Thus, among these, the following should be noted:

  • Love for the country.
  • Defense of national symbols (anthems and flags).
  • Admiration and loyalty to national heroes.
  • Defense and pride of all the characteristics that define the country. What is called national culture, which would encompass gastronomy, values, traditions, art and all kinds of customs.
  • Defense of the nation in all events that have to do with other nations, such as sporting events.
  • Tolerance and respect for the rest of the nations and immigrants that reside in our territory.

What is being a patriot?

The patriot is that person who identifies with patriotism, that is, one who shares the characteristics defined above and who loves his country. Patriotism is something very common, in Spain 85% of Spaniards feel proud or very proud of their country. This percentage is even higher in cases such as the United States and in Latin American countries.

Why is it that most people in a country have a great patriotic feeling?

Because our entire environment is created on the paradigm and national promotion. In other words, the language spoken is that of the nation; what we eat and what we get used to is the traditional dishes of the territory; in education we study the history of the nation, the geography of the nation, etc .; public infrastructures have highly visible national symbols; international competitions; war conflicts.

In other words, if from childhood we see everything from this paradigm, it is very normal that, later, we are proud of the community to which we belong. It is neither good nor bad, it is normal and expected behavior.

Difference between patriotism and nationalism

These terms are almost synonymous, but differ in some nuances.

Nationalism is constituted rather as an ideology, while patriotism is only a sentiment. Nationalism is blamed for clashes between countries, civil wars, racism, xenophobia, etc.

Patriotism and nationalism go hand in hand, despite the differences mentioned above. Some authors conceive it as degrees of the same idea, that is, both concepts defend the same essence but with different intensity.

Thus, patriotism would simply suppose the love and pride of the nation to which they belong, as well as its culture, traditions and peculiarities. Instead, nationalism would be the intense aspect of patriotism, defending in some cases the superiority of one's own nation as a justification for discrimination and warmongering between countries.

Criticism of patriotism

The criticism of patriotism has a double aspect. On the one hand, exclusive, the critics in this way argue that patriotism has an exclusive and discriminatory character, and that it can lead to radical nationalist behaviors that promote xenophobic practices against immigrants, and that even those who do not have a legal status can be discriminated against. national sentiment exacerbated.

On the other hand, the criticism is economic, tax evasion or the transfer of residence of those who extol the figure of the nation, has also been highly criticized. Accusing them of false patriotism or that their true homeland is money. Patriotism is also blamed for the emergence of right-wing populist movements, arguing unfeasible proposals in defense of the nation.

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