Fewer of Us Are 'Extremely Proud' to Be an American

What do you think the consequences might be if you're constantly told you live in a racist, sexist, homophobic, war-mongering, greedy, heartless, no-good country?

Gallup has an interesting answer:

As Independence Day approaches, most in the U.S. say they are proud to be an American, including a slight majority, 54%, who are "extremely proud." The percentage saying they are "extremely proud" is slightly lower than in recent years and down from peaks at and around 70% between 2002 and 2004, after 9/11.

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In addition to the 54% who are extremely proud to be an American, 27% say they are "very proud," 14% say they are "moderately proud," 4% are "only a little proud" and 1% state that they are "not at all proud."

These data are from a June 2-7 poll. Gallup has asked this question regularly since 2001. The highest percentage saying they were "extremely proud" to be an American came in 2003, in the months after the Iraq war began and not long after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when Americans' patriotism surged. It is likely that the aftermath of 9/11 may have produced an anomaly in the levels of "extreme pride" in patriotism.

Older Americans, Southerners and Republicans Lead in "Extreme Pride"

While most Americans are proud to be an American, certain groups are especially likely to say they are extremely proud. "Extreme pride" rises for each succeeding age group, from a low of 43% among those under 30 to a high of 64% among senior citizens.

Extreme pride also varies regionally, from a high of 61% in the South to a low of 46% in the West.

Sixty-eight percent of Republicans say they are extremely proud to be an American, much higher than the 47% of Democrats who say the same. As usual, independents are in the middle, at 53%.

What does it portend for the future that only 43% of those under 30 are "extremely proud" to be an American? Will they become more patriotic with age? Let's hope so.

This is a highly subjective poll because you can't quantify the difference between "extreme" pride and "very" proud. "Extreme" is a word that most Americans are wary of -- especially when it comes to describing themselves. Regardless, 81% of Americans are either extremely or very proud of the U.S. Considering all the vicious, anti-American screaming that's been going on for the last couple of months, it's amazing the number is that high.