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How The Definition Of 'Patriotism' Changes With Time

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 11:28am
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In our current, deeply divided political environment, the word "patriotism" has become especially loaded.

For many, patriotism is defined by our freedoms — of speech, religion, assembly. Others use meanings more aligned with symbols long identified with the U.S., such as our flag.

And what about the Jan. 6 attackers who stormed the Capitol, many of whom claimed to be patriots?

Yale Professor Steven Smith will be speaking Sept. 9 at Arizona State University as part of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership’s Constitution Day Lecture. His presentation is titled, "Patriotism: Our Most Contested Virtue. " He’s also the author of "Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes."

The Show spoke with Smith and began the conversation by asking him whether the definition of patriotism has changed or whether its meaning is defined by our times.

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