Writing Prompts: Patriotism

Are you patriotic? What does being patriotic mean to you?

Patriotism is a funny concept. To some, it is about unconditional love for one’s country. Such is the extent of national pride in some that any mere suggestion their country is not perfect is enough to trigger a torrent of abuse. Some people absolutely will not acknowledge the darker chapters of their nation’s history, or they’ll try and dress those events in a different light.

Being patriotic doesn’t mean relishing in the misdeeds of one’s country, and nor does it mean ignoring them. There’s a difference between loving one’s country and having unconditional pride in one’s country.

In the UK, Brexiteers have tried their best to play upon patriotism. ‘We want our country to be free!’ ‘We want to take back control!’ ‘Britain should make its own rules!’ It’s all framed in a manner designed to imply that anyone who is pro-EU doesn’t really love their country. Brexiteers are the chest-thumping flag-draped bastions of freedom and democracy, and if you don’t agree, you don’t love your country. I was called a traitor by one such person on Twitter, such is the mentality of some Brexiteers.

I voted to remain in the EU because I love my country, and want to see it thrive. I am not blind to the faults of the UK, especially the historical injustices the British Empire inflicted upon the world, but I also believe that the British public and the country itself can be forces for good. I don’t believe in all the jingoistic crap that comes with Brexit and all of its false promises. We’re not a better country with better people for voting to leave the EU; far from it. It’s not unpatriotic to point that out, or to want to re-join.

Blind pride in anything is never a good look, so whilst I am happy to be a Brit, let’s not mask the flaws.

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