Americans may feel their patriotism dampened this year in the face of societal issues like relentless high inflation and elevated homicide rates. Many people may find it hard to celebrate a country where countless people are struggling and frequent violence persists. However, an expression of love for fellow citizens is patriotic in itself.

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Patriotism can be a complex subject, depending on who’s involved in the discussion. For insight, we asked a panel of experts to share their thoughts. . .

WALLETHUB: What are the characteristics of a good patriot?

KEVIN COKLEY: I think a good patriot is someone who loves their country, embraces its values and lives their lives in accordance to the values they embrace. For example, American (United States) values include equality, which would mean that a good patriot embraces equality and acts in ways that support equality for all citizens.

WALLETHUB: What are the best ways for an individual to show patriotism?

COKLEY: In my opinion, demonstrating patriotism is much more than saluting the flag and singing the National Anthem. In fact, I would argue that some of the most patriotic people show their patriotism by pointing out the problems of the country they love with the hope of making it become the best version of itself. This is why I believe that Colin Kapernick was being very patriotic when he kneeled during the National Anthem. He showed that he cared enough about this country to put his own livelihood of playing football at risk for what he believed to be the greater good of addressing police brutality.

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