Country Love or Love of Country

This post was originally one of my responses to an expat challenge on Instagram. When I first saw the prompt, COUNTRY LOVE, I thought USA 🇺🇸. I appreciate my time abroad tremendously, but I love my country and there is no other place I would rather live. The U.S. is also my homeland, which makes my choice a patriotic one. This got me thinking about our comfort with our own patriotism and the patriotism of other countries.

Patriotism: national pride; love of country; devotion to one’s homeland. Different cultures express patriotism differently and to different degrees. Some are more reserved and some are judged more harshly for patriotic displays for a variety of reasons. I am speaking only of patriotism, not nationalism.

My first Christmas living in Denmark, my husband’s family brought over a box of Christmas tree 🎄 decorations filled with little Danish flag 🇩🇰 tree ornaments to hang on the tree! 😮 I was already feeling homesick and with so much Denmark around me that I was still struggling to get used to, did it have to be plastered all over our Christmas tree too? I vetoed it and my husband understood. But those little flags did more than stir up homesick feelings; they revealed differences about patriotism.

The Danes have a tradition of exhibiting Danish flags at celebrations. It’s common to pick up someone at the airport holding a Danish flag 🇩🇰, to see flags 🇩🇰 displayed at birthdays, anniversaries and graduations, and to include flag ornaments 🇩🇰 on a Christmas tree. It was explained to me as a symbol of celebration above all else; a tradition dating back to 1864 post the Battle of Dybbøl and born from a desire to use the flag in peaceful contexts only. This was a much more pervasive weaving of patriotism into daily life than what I was used to. In the USA, I’m used to seeing patriotic displays like flags at sporting events and parades, and primarily on the 4th of July.

Our nations’ histories, the world view and personal preferences all contribute to our use of patriotism in our lives.

  • How is patriotism displayed in the country/countries you call home?
  • How comfortable are you displaying patriotism?

The #countrylove prompt was part of the #mayonthemove2020 Instagram challenge hosted by @oregongirl_aroundtheworld and @thefrustratednester.

4 thoughts on “Country Love or Love of Country

  1. I am not comfortable displaying patriotism at this time and I feel not so great about that! So two things! Being Puerto Rican is one of my greatest loves and I do display a flag at work. However, idk how comfortable I would feel displaying it in my car or in front of my house fearing that racism could attack on us. As for being an american, I’m ashamed of where we are as a country right now. I do not like feeling this way. Such an interesting topic!

    1. It’s such a complex topic, right? I myself have never displayed patriotic symbols like a flag or felt particularly patriotic except on the 4th of July 🇺🇸 and right after 9/11. Our hearts here filled with New York pride and American patriotism immediately after 9/11. And I love whipping out my P.R. flag 🇵🇷 and gear for the Puerto Rican Day Parade as a celebration of my culture. Still, I carry my country pride or patriotism inside myself always. I’m not proud of some of whats happening, but it doesn’t change my feelings towards my country. In fact, it makes me want to fight harder for it. Thank you so much for commenting!

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