In America, flag waving and patriotism do go hand in hand, but I also believe that it’s possible to be a liberal, anti-war, flag-waving patriot - though this seems to be rarely the case these days. The comedian/radio personality Janeane Garofalo actually voiced an interesting sentiment that I believe echoes the way a lot of patriotic liberals feel:
That you can have a gay parade on Christopher Street in New York, with naked men and women on a float cheering, ‘We’re here, we’re queer!’ – that’s what makes my heart swell. Not the flag, but a gay naked man or woman burning the flag. I get choked up with pride.
Flag waving tends to be associated with the kind of blind patrotism that is truly dangerous - adherence to a symbol, an ideal, rather than the truth. A real patriot, someone who truly loves their country, must be critical and unwilling to offer unilateral support for every decision their country makes. Nationalism and patrotism do not always need to go together. I think that these emotions/feelings may come across differently in different cultures, however. I can love my country and my home, but I don’t necessarily think it is any better or worse than your country or home; I’m not sure if most Americans would agree with me, however - many people still seem to believe earnestly that America is the best place on Earth.
Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s true. Maybe that’s the difference between patriotism and nationalism: A true patriot is critical towards his home country / country of residence?
“I wonder: Are all flag waving people patriotic or nationalistic?”
They aren’t. Many are soccer fans, simply.
Of course supporting a nations’ world cup has to do with patriotisms and nationalisms, but wearing the national colours or waving a flag in this context is a matter of merchandizing, too.
Oh, interesting thoughts here! I suppose in some respects flags/national colors can be a form of branding. How is a nation packaged/sold around the world? I think America may be the most guilty of this (we have American flags all over the place) but other countries too… I’m thinking of things especially like Parmegianno-Regiano or Champagne, both of which are proprietary to particular regions and are very associated with national pride. What are other examples that you know of from your own countries?
“How is a nation packaged/sold around the world?”
The main import of goods to Germany that have been produced especially for this World Cup was done three months before the Cup opened. These goods in the first place came from Asia, some of them were produced “outsourcingly". They are devided into ‘for-sale’ and ‘give-aways’. For sale e.g. were all kind of flags, plastic-footballs, trikots, t-shirts, even headgears in mohawk style, and all kind of stuff you can use for the decoration of the houses inside and outside to create a “World Cup Atmosphere"–all in black-red-gold, of course. The variety of give-aways even topped the variety of goods for-sale. There was anything you can imagine produced in the national colours. Give-aways accompanied all kinds of products. E.g. ‘Weißer Riese’ which is a washing powder, contained little boxes of make-up in black-red’n gold; german magazine BILD Zeitung attempted to attract customers by giving away temporary wet tattoos you could put on your skin, representing the national flag again.
Almost any good one can imagine was reproduced in the national colours. And they sold. Mean, you could buy deco-footballs in red black n gold even at the bakeries!