I'm beginning to wonder why we need to spend today waving the flag, wearing the flag & having the flag painted on us - the need for overt displays of patriotism always worries me as perhaps underlying something very ugly - like those cars displaying stickers saying "Australia, love us or leave us" - surely everybody has the right with disagree with aspects of the national character, or state of the nation, regardless of where you were born?
I love this piece of writing:
I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: "Our country, right or wrong!" They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." Carl Shurz, 1899.
Interesting, isn't it, that some things do not appear to have changed in 100 years, and that the sentiments could apply to any country?
Ah, John Lennon had it so right... "Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too..."*