The Times 

Separating Nationalism from Patriotism


February 24, 2022

To the Editor;

In a recent County Commissioner’s meeting The Club requested a grant of $5,000. The Club is an organization that is filling a need in the community – they are teaching social and emotional learning, personal responsibility, and positive relationships with peers and adults, among other things. As an additional requirement of this grant being approved Mr. Amerein wants them to fly the flag – as he puts it, “What we are talking about right now, today, is the donation of public funds, from a public that feels a certain way about patriotism, nationalism, things like that, to an organization that doesn’t.”

I am a member of that tax paying public and I have no desire for them to fly the flag.

You have no idea how that organization feels about patriotism – just because they have no flag displayed? How presumptuous!

The flag has been co-opted by those who think they are more patriotic than the rest of us who don’t walk around in flag cloths and fly it all the time (and I live with a Veteran).

When I filed my property taxes, there was no line on the assessment stating that by paying my taxes I consented to the requiring of any grantees or other recipients of funds having to fly the flag.

There is no state law requiring the recipient of public funds to fly a flag so quit with the flag waving nonsense.

Now let’s speak to that word nationalism. Nationalism, which is a political system that puts one’s nation above all others, should be separated from patriotism, particularly as nationalism is often driven more by racial and ethnic superiority than a love of country. In the US it is associated with right-wing extremism. 55% of Americans feel that white nationalism poses a very or somewhat serious threat to the U.S. (Nationalism in the US – Statistics & Facts Published by Erin Duffin, Mar 11, 2021)

So Mr. Amerein, is nationalism your agenda for Columbia County? Or is it truly patriotism? Patriotism though like love, or religion, cannot be forced down anyone’s throat. If people want to fly a flag they will. They don’t need your help.

J.L. Goldsmith

Dayton, Wash.


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