Patriotism, is it lost?

On a recent visit to New York, we went to Grand Central Station. Upon entering this huge building, your eyes are immediately drawn to the overwhelmingly large, USA Stars and Stripes flag, hanging from the ceiling. This caused me to draw an immediate comparison with the British equivalent of London Waterloo station, where the most British thing you can find in the ceiling area is a pigeon.

Why is it that we seem to be so hesitant as a nation to express our pride, if it still exists, in our great country. It has become apparent that it takes a large international sporting event for us to show even the slightest wave of a flag or ‘Rule Britannia’ cheer.

A National Day

Recent proposals by Gordon Brown have been to instate a National Day, in which we spend the day pretty much doing nothing, which deifies the point of Britain. As well received as a National Day would be, the question needs to be asked, why can’t we show our pride every day? The Americans have the 4th of July, but still show pride every day, with flags everywhere and even oaths of allegiance being sworn at the start of every school day. This would, however, lead to a problem.

Has the Flag been high jacked?

It is a well known fact that Britain is one of the most multicultural nations on the planet. Essentially this is good for our economy and for our future. Some disagree, the most prominent of which is the British National Party. This article isn’t here to engage the political standings of a party who seem to have oppressive and Nazi-stical ideals. But it has to be said that football violence does have a strong tie with the flag waving Brit. This is possibly the reason why we have so little pride in our heritage or country.

After all, it is our heritage, history and royal family who make up the history and background behind the ensign of this great nation. Those three factors are also responsible for a large portion of this countries tourism.

Pride is not only the place you live, but the place it once was and the place it can be. Many people are proud of their racial background, and so they should be. It all starts in self pride, start having pride and appreciation for ones self and the rest will follow.

The current situation in Portsmouth is a prime example of pride. With Portsmouth Football club being in the FA Cup final this year, bunting and blue flags are everywhere. This is a brilliant demonstration of pride, the problem being is that this needs to be continued after the FA Cup or after a saints dedicated day, such as St Georges day.

So why aren’t we proud to be British? I personally am, and I know a lot of people who are also proud to be British, so why don’t we show it. It doesn’t need the efforts of a revolutionist to stand up and say how proud one is of something that already exists.

Sometimes it is as simple as hanging a flag from a window; no one is asking for drastic action, no one is asking for people to be oppressive about their nationality or beliefs. All I ask as a Rant writer is that you take some time to think about how great this nation is, after all, its name is Great Britain.

Patriotism, is it lost?

Andrew Paul Hayward

Portsmouth, United Kingdom

  • Artist

Artist's Description

This is an article written by myself for a recent issue of Rant Magazine. Rant Magazine is a community media funded by Portsmouth City Council and based around the target audience of 13 to 19 year olds. It engages current and life issues which do or may affect the target audience.

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