Patriotism …. and other meaningless nonsense.

As I mentioned in the previous post I don’t ‘do’ the whole National Anthem thing anymore than I ‘do’ the patriotism thing.

Personally, I consider such nonsense, just like religion, to be divisive and does not in any meaningful way build  positive relations.

I grew up in the UK but have lived in South Africa for decades. I am sure I must have sung God Save The Queen at some point in time, though I can’t honestly remember when, probably as a lark before a soccer game I expect.

Only the first verse of this despicable song is usually sung ( there are four verses) and I’ll venture most people don’t even give the lyrics a second thought as they belt them out with all the gusto and false bravado they can muster.

God save our gracious Queen,

Long live our noble Queen,

God save the Queen!

Send her victorious,

Happy and glorious,

Long to reign over us;

God save the Queen!

Right off the bat we have ‘God’. And you can be sure we are not talking about any other god than the Christian god.

As an atheist this is right up my street, of course!

And it is worth reminding those who may have forgotten or are unaware, Kings and Queens were considered to rule by Divine Right.

As the UK is no longer considered a Christian nation all those British agnostics and atheists merrily singing along are only reinforcing this ‘Divine Right’. I expect the Royal Family are laughing themselves silly.

And I wonder how the Muslims, Jews, Hindus etc feel about it? Not their god after all.

Rather silly, don’t you think?

Let’s look at the second verse. ( Which as far as I know is never sung).

O Lord our God arise,

 Scatter her enemies

And make them fall;

Confound their politics,

Frustrate their knavish tricks,

On Thee our hopes we fix,

God save us all!


Make of that as you will, but to me it is nothing but a rallying war cry. Reminds me of something one might find in the Old Testament before another round of slaughter ensued.

I won’t bother with the other two verses. They are much the same drivel. (You can Google them if you like).

And I suspect that most anthems are along similar lines: What’s mine is mine and what’s your is yours and if you try to take mine you’ll get yours. And if you don’t watch out we’ll take yours in any case. Because we have God on our side.  

Which tends to be what a lot of history is all about.

As for the South African anthem. A more ridiculous song you are unlikely to find. A PC version comprising five languages of something one might hear on the Eurovision Song Contest. I have never learned it, or sung it, and simply shake my head whenever I hear the damn thing played.

If you want to listen to a National Anthem then this is the only version worth bothering with, not least because Hendrix’ interpretation has all the screams and cries of  falling bombs and machine gun fire.



69 thoughts on “Patriotism …. and other meaningless nonsense.

  1. Patriotism (with a capital “P”) is sometimes a scary place to be.
    Years ago I went to a local ‘band’ contest, and the band that won did a spot on job of one of those ‘Proud to be an American” numbers. And the person beside me said, look behind you–and the entire room was standing, lighters held out, tears streaming down their faces, swaying in time to the music (this was a bar, so a certain amount of beer was involved), and I said to my terrified neighbor, “is there a way out of here?” Every Vietnam vet in the room was on their feet.
    Patriotism is useful for troops in a war, it’s adrenaline on speed, and every drill seargent knows that.

    But it’s truly a difficult song for most people to sing, and we are slowly moving away from saluting the flag and talking to it.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Years ago my college choir did a concert tour in Europe, and had to learn two verses of “God Save the Queen” to open our English concerts with. Which totally took our audiences by surprise, because that’s not a usual thing there. The second verse we sang was this one (from my memory):

    Thy choicest gifts in store
    On her be pleased to pour,
    Long may she reign.
    May she defend our laws
    And ever give us cause
    To sing with heart and voice
    God save the Queen.

    It doesn’t even rhyme properly.

    The level of obsession with “patriotism” here in the US is really unhealthy. Sportsball games all open with the national anthem, and you are supposed to stand up, AND take off your hat, AND put your hand over your heart. And if you don’t do this meaningless ritual correctly, somehow you are a bad and evil person who doesn’t love their country. After 9/11, they added “God Bless America” to the games for several years, and you were supposed to stand up for that one too. At one point, someone even got arrested at a sports for refusing to stand for “God Bless America”!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Couldn’t agree more Ubi. There are a plethora of ways and mannerisms to show acceptable, universal “respect” to something or someone. And neutral mannerisms (hands together behind the back?) and quiet are NOT postures or expressions of derision or offensive insurrection accept to the hyper-sensitive patriots/nationalists. 🙄😒

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I’ve always been a patriotic sort to some degree. Not the OMG! My country is the greatest! Kind of thing, but more a simple love of country and hope for its future.*

    Both of which are in short supply today.

    I do not stand for anthems, prayers, or hold my hand over my heart, nor do I recite the pledge of allegiance, but I still have some sort of ingrained appreciation for my country. Enough to hope like hell we sweep the house, the senate, and the Presidency in 2020. I can’t stand much more of this…

    * Which given the high percentage of freaking morons I have to wonder why sometimes.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Being appreciative of one’s ‘home’ (country, surroundings ) is fine – providing that country is truly representative. ( This lack of genuine representation is one reason why Rapinoe was protesting)

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Hear hear Shell. I think the time for all of us Homo sapiens to call ourselves simply Earthlings, human beings from planet Earth — period. Stop there. Be done with it. No more! — is a factual self-identity way over due. Honestly, with each passing day our planet, borders, and differences become more and more diminished as our population climbs to nearly 9-billion atop a Pale-blue dot that is not getting larger. Hahahaha. 😄

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeeeeeaaaahhhh … right. Such as I’ve sampled, I love Russian music and songs. Especially their national anthem. But I also like a few others … funny how so many invoke ‘God’ … no? With God sucked in and now on our side (if we worded the song right) — who the hell needs armed forces? We could scrap the lot and use the funds to build more churches and mosques and temples and things; win/win.

      (Just yesterday in town I bought a ‘babushka’ (think that’s the right word) doll. Needs a bit of a tweak, she squeaks when you twist her torso.)

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Normally I only squeak when I’m squoken to; better I should remain squeakless and be thought dum’ than to squeak up and remove all doubt …

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Hello Ark. I think too many people confuse patriotism with pageantry. Patriotism doesn’t mean ignoring all that is wrong with your country to claim your country is the “greatest on Earth”. It means being willing to acknowledge the faults of your country and to be willing to work on fixing them. It means affirming the principles your country stands for when others want to destroy them. It doesn’t mean there is nothing wrong with your country and it is superior to all others. Putting symbols above the freedoms of a country is not patriotic. You can not protect a country by destroying all the good it stands for, but you can destroy it by ignoring the wrongs it does instead of fixing them. Hugs

    Liked by 9 people

      1. Hello Ark. Are they capable of understanding higher or abstract concepts? Can they learn and are they willing to be taught? I thinkk they both ate too many leaded paint chips. I think my cats would grasp the concepts of patriotism long before either of those gents would. 🙀😺😸😻Hugs

        Liked by 5 people

        1. *Smile?
          Wally is under the impression that, as a Vet anyone who doesn’t stand and sing the anthem must be a degenerate, and I presume he feels the same regarding hand on heart stuff and espousing the pledge of allegiance?

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Hello Ark. Then wally must not understand why he served. I served two military tours, one in the Navy and one in the Army. We always said we served to protect the rights of the people in our country. Not the rights of our country, not the politicians, not the president, but to protect the rights of the people. I remember a flag burning case that happened when I was in West Berlin. In the Army Times newspaper was a big article about how one of the rights we served to protect was the right to protest. The flag was only a piece of cloth. It’s meanings were far more important than the cloth itself. If our rights were to mean anything then the right to disagree with and protest our government was one of the most important to protect. Too many people today in my country either never learned that or forgot it. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Ark, what combat veteran… say from the mid-to-late 19th century posted west of the Mississippi River who wiped out, exterminated Indian encampments full of women and children, with any conscience whatsoever stand proudly with their government who broke treaty after treaty after treaty with those peoples… and sing a song? Or from any of the some 118 armed conflicts/wars this nation has participated or instigated in its YOUNG 243-years of sovereignty!? Seriously? 😳

            Liked by 2 people

          3. HAHAHAHA!!! 🤣 Yeah, right. That would be like an East Coast rapper marrying a West Coast rapper, or George W. Bush and Al Gore kissing hugging each other (genuinely!), or Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley living together 24/7, or Wile E. Coyote catching the Roadrunner, or even more unrealistic…

            Go back to the early 13th century CE and put yourself in the shoes of a European Crusader obeying his Papacy, but asking Papal Legate Arnaud Amalric at the siege of Béziers how to distinguish Catholics from Cathars!

            Kill them all; God will recognize his. — Arnaud Amalric

            What use is there trying to confront a mentality (brainwashing) like that or ColorfulSprinkles?

            Liked by 2 people

          4. Symbolism will never take the place of how a person feels about something. And to insist on it is their problem, not yours or mine.

            Liked by 4 people

    1. Now that coming from you Scottie I understand. I can appreciate the fact that YOU are not searching for methods of distinguishing yourself as superior — you readily and admirably admit your gifts and shortcomings… like every single one of us must do, should do. You even make fun of yourself in appropriate ways; a healthy self-perception. However, others? Those bent on constant demarcations of superior vs. inferior? HAH!

      Clinically speaking (in psychology), those who have at the very least a minuscule sense of humor about themselves are far more equipped to do great things of altruism/philanthropy for so many. Humility (versus the loudest, or combative, or wealthiest?) is often a very rare commodity in human personalities. In this modern era it is too often in short supply. And humility does not equate to weakness.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “My country right or wrong” can be a dangerous phrase, with multiple meanings. I rank it right up there with “I have a right to say anything I want,..” no, dear, you don’t.

      At one time in the not so distant past, during the Iran hostage crisis, flags were being abused everywhere, in the name of patriotism. I remember seeing one large lady in a pickup truck that had been painted to resemble the flag. It was disturbing, and I suspect people took one look at her defiant, belligerent face, and kept right on moving. She was downright scary.
      We hide behind that flag, we wave it in people’s faces, we wrap ourselves in it, and god help anyone who objects. Makes me wish I had kids so I could teach them NOT to pledge allegiance.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. …probably as a lark“? HAH!!!

    Wait a minute Ark, I think you accidentally placed a letter “L” in front of your name! Are you even sure you are inside the correct animal kingdom, phylum, or genus, much less species!? Come on now, be honest. 🤔


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Never could understand why the queen would need saving, can’t imagine Liz getting up to too much naughtiness 🤔.
    Not having a dig at other countries (ok I am) love the line in one anthem that goes ‘ Land of the free, home of the brave’ has an ironic ring to it. Would be better off with Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ (google the lyrics).
    My favourite anthem is the Italian a very jolly tune and so much fun watching them trying to sing along 😂.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Have you noticed that extreme patriotism is almost always connected to right wing religion, trump and republican support.
    They just cannot see a world view of all people and the planet at large. It’s always division among them….my god’s better, my country is perfect and blameless in all things and the republicans represent this because they know how to milk it to get our votes.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Ark,

    Since you have a healthy dose of appropriate song/music with several of your blog-posts, I remembered this one, a painfully poignant song/lyrics (listen to lyrics closely) by a great American band… singing about our “Greatest Nation on Earth” (pffffft)… 😦


  9. When in Rome, do as the Romans do … so if the NatAnt is played, I too stand up. (Dum I may be, but too old to be stupid—leave that for the patriots.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes indeed Argue (whoops, Argus)! It does do one well to learn the customs, the differences and nuances in foreign lands while a GUEST in those lands. This is why I never speak any (angry) German unless strictly IN Germany!

      Because of the last 2-decades or so, anytime I am ANYWHERE in the world outside of Texas, I do my absolute most not to divulge my native home state! 😬 For example, I have a family acquaintance from Jasper, TX that stated while in Italy during the late summer of 2004 they were noticeably treated less welcomed by the native Tuscans when they proudly shared to the town baker and butcher (with many other Italian customers around) they were from God’s state-country Texas! The Tuscan’s demeanor toward them changed. LOL 😄

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Few nice folks like loud-mouthed braggarts … which I why I keep my own genius, good looks, brilliant wit/charm/intelligence very much out of sight (and never to be revealed in mixed company).

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Hahahaha… 😂 and OF COURSE keeping politely obscured your ever so astronomically gargantuan self-esteem eccentrically fashioned with modesty, right? 😉


          1. Ah, yes. Appreciate it with that long, sloppy tongue everywhere, huh!? 😛

            Btw, I have an excellent arm for playing fetch if you appreciate superb throwing qualities. (whoosh >>>>> 🦴) 😎

            Liked by 1 person

        1. Not Texans! 🤠 Yee-HAW!!! (spits tobaccer into the spitoon & wipes the brown grime off his chin) As the popular adage in these parts goes…

          Everything is BIGGER in Texas, including our guns, egos, and delusional superiority complexes!” It’s how we cowboys compensate for a state-wide genital deficiency! Hahahaha! 😆

          Liked by 1 person

        1. Well Judy, what would you expect on a blog like this one!? I mean if this blog-owner let’s in escaped mental patients like me, Argue, JZ, and a host of others…

          then surely we Cuckoo birds are perching comfortably at home, Ark’s home… if it can be called a home. 😵🙃

          Liked by 1 person

  10. This is where Australia leads most countries, not one God mentioned in the national anthem.

    Australians all let us rejoice
    For we are young and free
    We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil,
    Our home is girt by sea
    Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
    Of beauty, rich and rare
    In history’s page let every stage
    Advance Australia fair,
    In joyful strains then let us sing
    “Advance Australia fair!”
    Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
    We’ll toil with hearts and hands,
    To make this Commonwealth of ours
    Renowned of…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I must confess that my heart expands just a little, listening to those two little Aussie granddaughters of ours singing the anthem at school assemblies! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Scandinavia and the World did a comic on foreigners’ perceptions of the Nordic National Anthems:

    (For those who don’t read the comic, those characters are Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland.)
    In this version, I guess America’s anthem would boil down to: “We have a flag! Wait, is it still there?”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mass patriotism to the point where the “sovereign” nation/Empire can get away with enraged murder of a native trans-woman when that smaller nation, the Philippines, was once a colonial war-prize for the U.S. (dips head in shame as an American in this case)… 😓


  13. Ark, what a timely post – July 1st is Canada’s birthday. So of course I was belting it out at a community event yesterday. I must be a product of indoctrination b/c it’s just instinct to stand up and sing when it’s played. I tell all my students they should be proud to sing it; we have a great country. (Not to say we don’t have problems, either)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hahaha, exactly! Wasn’t sure if you fans in Jo’burg got to see this/these media segues or not, but the one they’re using in the U.S. are VERY groovy and the facial looks they have of the top female players are hilarious and attractive! Whoa Nellie! LOL


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