Wednesday Word of the Week: patriotic

patriotic (pay-tree-AH-tihk) adj. supporting and celebrating a nation and its people (National Geographic Education).
As you celebrate July 4th today with families and friends, think for a moment, what exactly are you celebrating?  
Is it the United States‘ declaration of independence from Great Britain?
Is it the sacrifices made by our soldiers?
Is it the pride you feel by living in this country?
Or is it just a good excuse to barbeque?
Perhaps it is all of the above!  After all, July 4th is a patriotic event, celebrating all that defines a nation and its people.  In the United States, patriotism is expressed in various ways.  High flying flags, the national anthem, and national holidays all help to make the United States the most patriotic country in the world, according to the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC).
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The United States is the “world’s most patriotic country,” according to a University of Chicago survey.
Photo courtesy of Joe Pratt Jr., MyShot.
The NORC survey, last administered in 2003, ranks countries on their citizens’ pride in living in their respective country, as well as how they view their state in relation to other countries throughout the world (as inferior or superior).  Tied atop the rankings is an often arch-rival of the United States on the international political scene, Venezuela.  Other countries rounding out the top ten: Australia, South Africa, Austria, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, The Philippines, and Israel.


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Map of “The 33 most patriotic nations,” courtesy of ~Arminius1871.
Most patriotic: dark-blue
Least patriotic: yellow


Similar patriotism studies include the Correlates of War project, the World Values Survey, and the International Social Science Programme. The Correlates of War project has historically found correlations between patriotism and a propensity for war.  In their results, patriotism in Germany was much stronger before World War I than it has ever been since.  The World Values Survey, on the other hand, asks the question “Are you proud to be [insert nationality here]?”  The highest scoring countries are among the same as in the University of Chicago’s NORC survey, which a few additional countries joining the party: Ireland, India, Peru, and Spain, to name a few.
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International Social Science Programme National Pride Score, 2003-2004.
On the flipside, some of the world’s least patriotic countries include Germany, Slovakia, Latvia, Poland, as well as some of the world’s most notable “neutral nations”, Sweden and Switzerland.
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Germany is among the least patriotic countries in the world, according to research by the World Values Survey and the National Opinion Research Center.
Photo courtesy of Anthony Lever, MyShot.
With the Summer Olympics coming to the forefront of international news in the coming weeks, patriotism will be on full display, with legions of athletes proudly sporting their countries’ colors as they compete for national pride in London.  Fans from around the world will follow their teams to the Games, all anxiously awaiting the opportunity to hear their national anthem played for the world in celebration of their country earning a gold medal.
– Justin Fisch for National Geographic Education


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