Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Team America: Ah, another Fourth o' July. Fireworks, flags, and patriotism. After I got back from the beach trip, I went to the Independence Day celebration on the National Mall. There I got to hear country star Jo Dee Messina declare that the United States of America was "one of the best countries in the world".

Apparently she's missing part of the concept of patriotism. When honoring your country, go ahead and say we're the best, not just one of the best. Objectively, this is pretty well verifiable. But even if it weren't, nobody would fault you for loving your country.

Or so you would think. I can forgive Jo Dee for misspeaking, perhaps, but now people are questioning Germans for cheering on their World Cup team (before the team got eliminated). NPR mentioned it this morning, and The Washington Post ran a sports piece about the guilt associated with German nationalism.

Why, you ask? Because of the Nazis, of course. You see, Germans love their country. And Hitler loved his country. Plus, it was the same country. Germany. Understand? Very dangerous!

Not to downplay Nazi atrocities, but just because someone associated with your country did something bad doesn't mean you can't have a little pride in where you're from. You can root for your country to win, whether the game be soccer or war, and honestly it's not jingoistic.

And despite the dangers of an incoming flag epidemic you can show your patriotism more than one day a year.


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