What is patriotism? The standard dictionary definition reads “love of one’s country.” However, it seems that patriotism is often confused with nationalism.
Nationalism is about power: its adherent wants to acquire as much power and prestige as possible for his nation, in which he submerges his individuality. While nationalism is accordingly aggressive, patriotism is defensive: it is a devotion to a particular place and a way of life one thinks best, but has no wish to impose on others (Orwell 1968, 362)
Based on Orwell's definition, the US is full of nationalists rather than patriots. I like the idea of loyalty to place. I think America the Beautiful would be a better national anthem celebrating our natural beauty rather than our bombs bursting in air.
A Poem for July 4.
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!