What solemn nonsense it all is! Men loved the flag before they called it Old Glory; men died willingly for their country without special instruction in color symbolism; statesmen gave their lives to the public service without repeating a flag pledge every-day. . . . Reading drivel to children and making them sing doggerel can hardly have any effect except to vulgarize them.


True patriotism, from the American point of view, does not consist in a flourish of trumpets, in shouts of acclaim, in professions of loyalty, nor in national boasting; it is rather the result of a just appreciation of what our country is in its spirit of freedom, its institutions, its laws, its customs, its guarantees, its form of government, its splendid domain, its natural scenery, its status among the nations, and in its triumphant onward march.


We Americans do indeed need iron in our blood, but it is iron that shall make us do our dull, plodding, tiresome duties day by day. This alone is the patriotism to be taught in schools.: and unless these ideals of duty toward one's country are made vital in the school-life, the flag-salute, the singing, the national self-glorification will result in a nation of swashbucklers, not of patriots.



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The Roots of American Loyalty


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