We’ve been examining patriotic attitudes for more than a decade by reviewing questions asked by major pollsters. Our new report Polls on Patriotism and Military Service looks at scores of historical and contemporary polls on Americans’ love of country. Perhaps surprisingly, the results show remarkable positive stability.
What do Americans say about being patriotic? To take just one of many questions in our report, in January 2001, when the Gallup Organization asked Americans how proud they were to be Americans, 87 percent said they were “extremely” or “very” proud. When Gallup repeated the question last year, a virtually identical 85 percent gave that response. The horrific events of 9/11 produced many overt displays of patriotism. People flew their flags more often, and they sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Those activities have receded, but overall patriotic sentiment remains strong.