Patriotism in America

June 25, 1999 • Volume 9, Issue 24
Is love of country still strong?
By Kenneth Jost

Introduction

A July 4th parade in Lovettsville, Loudoun County, Va. (Photo Credit: Douglas Graham, Congressional Quarterly)
A July 4th parade in Lovettsville, Loudoun County, Va. (Photo Credit: Douglas Graham, Congressional Quarterly)

Millions of Americans display their love of country every year on the Fourth of July, the big bash celebrating the nation's birth more than 200 years ago. But some Americans worry that patriotism is not as strong as it used to be. Older Americans say that people pay less attention to rituals like July 4th parades and the Pledge of Allegiance than in the past. Many people think that multiculturalism is reducing national unity. Others respond that the nation's increasing ethnic diversity strengthens rather than hurts loyalty to country. And many younger Americans insist they are just as patriotic as previous generations but show their love of country in different ways – like helping people in need or cleaning up the environment.

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