For some, the word “patriotism” elicits strong emotions. It can be part of one’s gratitude for all they have been given, or a set of memories from childhood, or a set of traditions. It can be a failure to live up to a certain ideal, or a blindness or prejudice that sometimes comes with such strong values. It can be a value that holds at least some remaining merit, or a vice donning virtue’s clothing. “Patriotism” can also carry many different words with it: “nationalism,” “freedom,” “civic duty” and “citizenship.”
In these few weeks of July, “patriotism” can play a big part in our lives, whether it is July Fourth, Canada Day or Bastille Day. It can also be something we meet during election season, in a class after a major political event or after a bout of self-reflection. Although we cannot touch on every perspective, this issue of the Mirror aims to explore this word and its many meanings to our Dartmouth community.