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Article

Volume 24 • Number 4

October 2010



 

 

Citizenship and Patriotism


by Polycarp Ikuenobe


The commonplace view of patriotism involves loving one’s own particular country of citizenship or one’s homeland exclusively. Such love is expressed or manifested by the virtue or value of unconditional loyalty, care, sacrifice, devotion, and partiality toward a country that one is a legal citizen of.1 This suggests that being a legal citizen or a country being one’s own legally is necessary but not sufficient to justify, explain, or motivate acts of patriotism. It is necessary because one cannot be considered patriotic to a country that one is not a legal citizen of, which one cannot consider one’s own country or homeland. Legal citizenship is not considered sufficient for patriotism by some because in addition to legal citizenship, one needs to have or feel a sense of belonging and attachment to, and a special appreciation of, the country and/or its values in order to make sacrifice and to care for it. For some, however, legal citizenship is sufficient normatively for patriotism because being a legal citizen (being one’s country) means that one has legal benefits, rights, and privileges that imply the duty of patriotism. Thus, one may not have or need any other reason to be patriotic besides the fact that the country is one’s own as a legal citizen.


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ISSN: 2152-0542