Just what does it mean to be a patriot? – Patriot American Revolution Flag
Experts say it’s challenging to define
For many, being considered a patriot is as American as it gets.
Of the millions of words in the English language, the word “patriot” has actually long instilled a sense of pride in Americans. By definition, it implies “one who loves and supports his or her country,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. One specialist informed CNN calling somebody a “patriot” brings with it a greater level of pride and respect, putting a person on par with the creators of this nation who are viewed as the initial patriots. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
It’s a word that’s expected to bring marriage and happiness, but throughout history, it’s also divided and left out people. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
Patriot American Revolution Flag
In modern times, conspiracy theorists and extremists – consisting of some members of the groups who participated in the Capitol riots on January 6 – have actually latched on to the word “patriot” as a method to describe individuals who are simply American and (normally) White. Those who are not patriotic are against the United States and everything it stands for, making them the enemy. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
” It’s a rhetorical video game with often life and death repercussions,” stated Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative press reporter and representative for the Southern Hardship Law Center (SPLC), an Alabama-based non-profit that tracks dislike groups and their activities.
At the same time, the word is still used in popular culture to highlight the heroes of America, who were incidentally combating against individuals who they deemed weren’t American. An innovative search on IMDb finds at least 94 popular film and TV show titles that relate to “patriot” or “patriotism.”.
What makes “patriots” such a unifying, yet dissentious word at the same time? Here’s a look at the history of it and its context. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
Patriot American Revolution Flag
Patriot is derived from a French word
Like a lot of words, patriot does not have English origins.
It’s originated from the Greek word “patrios,” which suggests “of one’s father.” Patriot went into the English lexicon through the French word “patriote,” meaning “fellow compatriot” or “compatriot,” according to Merriam-Webster.
There’s never been any arguments about patriot’s literal meaning, however it’s context – typically political – is what has actually altered with time, according to Kristen Syrett, associate professor of linguistics at Rutgers University/New Brunswick. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
Throughout the 17th century, a patriot in Europe was somebody who liked their nation and agreed with the established government and/or faith, Merriam Webster’s essay on the word states.
The word then altered in meaning and connotation as infighting in Europe resulted in the formation of new nations, like America.
” This word had type of changed from an advocate of recognized government to someone who is against an established government,” stated Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
During the American Revolution, patriot had a positive undertone in America, however an unfavorable one in England, Sokolowski said. It’s because of this that the founding fathers are seen as the embodiment of patriotism.
” It kind of made them religious figures,” Sokolowski stated.
The unabridged definition of patriot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary likewise states it is somebody who is a member of a resistance group. That definition has not been upgraded in at least 30 years, Sokolowski said. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, among the earliest worldwide, an entry of patriot was modified in 2005 to say:.
” An opponent of assumed intervention by federal government in the affairs of people, esp. with respect to weapon and tax laws. Regularly in the names of conservative libertarian political and militia groups.”.
A spokesperson for Oxford’s Languages team informed CNN in an e-mail the meaning was part of a regular series of updates in 2005.
” The definition in question belongs to wide variety of nuanced uses of the word ‘patriot’ taped in the (Oxford English Dictionary) and changes were made based on proof of how the word is utilized in day-to-day life,” the declaration read.
The addition of right-wing groups “traces the instructions the language is going,” Sokolowski stated. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
Patriot American Revolution Flag
Dislike groups use ‘patriot’ for propaganda
Patriot in nativist, nationalistic and hate speech goes back to at least the mid-1800s to the Know Nothing Party, according to Sam Jackson, an assistant professor at the University at Albany who studies patriotism and violence in far-right groups.
” That movement was arranged around perception that external impacts – like non-White Europeans and others – were a threat to American values,” Jackson said. “By the 1850s, we’re seeing language of patriotism and signs being used in political ways and to mark individuals as ‘one of us and among them.'”.
The “us vs. them” attitude of patriotism would continue into the new century and change into an idea that patriotism is American and anything not American is bad.
” If I state somebody is a true patriot, I have a clear concept of what that means and what it means to not be a patriot,” stated Syrett, the Rutgers teacher. “This is a word that is truly conditioned by what our set of values is and what we believe we’re defending.”.
The worths of being a patriot for those who had nativist and nationalist ideologies indicated that America preceded and foremost. Anyone versus that particular set of values was viewed as a risk, even if that threat was the US government.
The “America initially” conditions set the tone for the late 1980s and 90s when conspiracy theorists begin forming what is referred to as the Patriot Motion, an anti-government movement with White supremacist leanings, according to the SPLC. This movement culminated in the Oklahoma City Bombing on April 19, 1995.
” The word patriot is often made use of by people that wish to benefit from this concept of a love for nation,” said Hayden, the SPLC senior investigative reporter. “There is nothing incorrect with wanting to do good for your nation, however when that enthusiasm is corrupted … that is taking great intentions and damaging them for the function of doing damage.”.
Some individuals who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 called themselves patriots. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
Former President Donald Trump and his child Ivanka have actually likewise used the word when referring to supporters.
Ivanka Trump addressed the rioters as “American Patriots” in tweet from January 6 that she later erased.
Trump likewise called the rioters “excellent patriots” in a tweet on January 6. In July 2019, Trump defended participants of his Greenville, North Carolina, rally – where members of the crowd shouted “send her back” about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar – calling them “unbelievable patriots.”.
According to Jackson, the University at Albany professor, “When you state somebody is a patriot, you’re stating there’s some goodness in them. It validates them.”. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
Pop culture utilizes patriot to illustrate America.
In popular culture, patriot can produce many images.
For some it could be the founding fathers or the generation around the American Transformation, like in the 2000 film “The Patriot” starring Mel Gibson. Others may think of United States soldiers defending liberty, like those seen in 1998’s “Conserving Private Ryan.”.
Then there are those films where the characters embody America breaking an adversarial force that represents a risk to American values, just like 1985’s “Rocky IV” or the “Captain America” story in the Marvel Movies of the 2010s. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
Being a patriot is “a word that deals with identity,” Sokolowski, of Merriam-Webster, stated.
” Identity is a tremendously personal and political part of language,” he stated. “When it comes to identity, you’re getting to something that touches individuals deeply.”.
Syrett stated these motion pictures and television shows illustrating patriotism are a reflection of the times and reveal there is an audience for such content.
” Pop culture not just encourages a modification in word meaning however it likewise profits from a sentiment that is there on the broader public,” she said.
But there are likewise pop culture disagreements around what makes up a patriot. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
There are some, for example, who would call Colin Kaepernick a patriot. The former NFL star stimulated controversy after he sat in demonstration throughout the national anthem in 2016 for a pre-season video game, saying he would not honor a tune nor “show pride in a flag for a nation that oppresses black people and people of color.” Kaepernick’s demonstration was part of a continuing national argument about police’s unequal treatment of Black people.
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Still, others think that in taking a knee, Kaepernick disrespected America.
In the very same vein, Syrett and Sokolowski said there are some who would state the rioters at the United States Capitol were patriots, while others might have seen them as terrorists. Patriot American Revolution Flag.
Syrett said the discrepancy over who or what is a patriot is a fight of linguistics that has been battled since the country’s starting – when it wasn’t even agreed upon on what it suggested to be American.