The fourth of July is a magical time for Americans to display their patriotism in the streets to celebrate the anniversary of the signing and adoption of the Constitution in 1776. Despite the parades, flags, and large displays, not all people are happy that some people show extreme support for their country. Patriotism doesn’t end when the fireworks displays cease, it is a part of everyday life as an American.

Daily patriotism

Without even knowing it, some might be practicing patriotism as a religion. In schools, students often recite the Pledge of Allegiance. At football games, the National Anthem is often sung, with spectators standing up, putting a hand over their heart, and removing caps, to capture the essence of Francis Scott Key’s poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Many houses often have the American flag waving outside their front doors at night, making sure that their neighbors know that they support their country no matter what.

Another uniquely American novelty that people might be unfamiliar with is raw price tags (before taxes and fees are added) since in most other countries, their price tags are the full price you’d pay at the register.

Iced coffee is an American amenity that most people buy into, no matter what the season is, whether it’s the dead of winter or the middle of summer. And lastly, our measuring system. Every other country on this earth uses the Metric system of measuring, and despite attempts to adopt it, we have concluded upon using our own American method of measuring.

Chauvinist

Due to the advent of the Trump Administration, patriotism has been at an all-time high. More American flags are flown than ever, black unemployment is at an all-time low, according to Bloomberg, and North Korea/South Korea are finally making peace with each other.

Despite the progress our country is making, more flags are being burned than ever, more people are protesting during the National Anthem at popular sporting events. Hand in hand with this ludicrous behavior is slapping the label of “chauvinist” upon people. For example, poet Olivia Gatwood in a poem called “An Alternate Universe Where I Am Unphased by the Men Who Do Not Love Me” wrote, “[O]nce, a boy told me he doesn’t ‘believe in labels’ so I embroidered the word chauvinist on the back of his favorite coat.” Immediately, you can see the connotation and negative context that this word was used in.

Etymology

'Chauvinist,' according to Merriam Webster means, “a person displaying aggressive or exaggerated patriotism.” This definition is a bit exaggerated and aggressive in and of itself, but can one be too patriotic? Patriotism is the quality of vigorous support for one’s country, and showing our support for the American Dream, and all it embodies.

Disliking patriotism is a perfectly valid and respectable ideology, however, ridiculing someone for their showing of support is unethical and immoral. Some of the synonyms attached to chauvinist include jingoistic, flag-waving, xenophobic, racist, ethnocentric, bigoted, sexist, anti-feminist, male-chauvinist, misogynist, male chauvinist pig, and woman-hating.

Do you see how stretched and hyperbolized these synonyms are? Because you are excessively patriotic, does that automatically mean you have a dislike or prejudice against any another country? No, waving my own flag doesn’t mean that I look down upon other countries. Apparently being patriotic means that you discriminate against those of another race?

Most of my more patriotic friends are multi-racial, and I am Chinese, Vietnamese, and Irish. Being chauvinist automatically means that you are intolerant of other opinions? These synonyms are not at all synonyms, and this lexicographic entry needs to be edited for clarification. We cannot have people thinking that chauvinists are hateful towards women and every other person in this world, that is deceiving and misleading. Just because I have a few flags hanging around my home does not mean that I am a misogynistic pig, and I will not apologize for it.

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