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  • 1. What does “American” and the American flag mean to you?<br />Interview Responses<br />
  • 2. Interviewee Demographics<br />Males: 4Females: 6<br />Age Range: 20-27<br />Home State:California (4)ConnecticutIllinoisMassachusetts(2)TexasVirginia<br />Current Location:New YorkRhode Island (8)Virginia<br />Nationality: American (5)American (Black)Black AfricanFilipinoItalian-Ukrainian, Vietnamese-American<br />American-born?Yes: 7No: 3<br />American-born parents?Yes: 4No: 6<br />
  • 3. Have you ever served in the U.S. armed forces?<br />YES (2)<br />NO (8)<br />
  • 4. What does it mean for something to be “American”?<br />I feel for something to be American, it has to be in line with values that are characteristically American: rugged individuality and independence are some examples. <br />Inalienable rights.<br />To be “American” means having a very individualistic and capitalist mentality. Americans believe in “every man for himself”; however, they want to impose their values on others. Being American is valuing freedom above everything else, with reason, but not allowing others to have the freedom to decide on things that are considered “un-American.” <br />Born domestically, maintains civil responsibilities (voting, paying taxes, generally law abiding),taking an interest in our government and their activities, and a sense of personal responsibility to benefit society to the best of their ability. <br />It is a cultural term related to something pertaining to the American society.<br />For something to be American it has to be made here in America, meaning it was made with attention to detail and quality and it is long-lasting and performs satisfactorily. For something other than an object to be American, like a song or speech or cause, it has to embody at least one American quality, like a song about working hard for a living and earning what you have, or a speech about equal rights and freedom for all.<br />America is an immigrant land so inherently I guess for something to be American… uh… something that may or may not have roots & origins elsewhere in the world but is filtered through a capitalistic lifestyle that is bound by a concept of success… that is bound by capital.<br />Wealth. Efficiency. Processed (like processed food). High-tech. Modern.<br />Well I guess the flag is American. Flying the flag. It’s what we’ve been told as Americans. I think that’s what makes it American.<br />Essentially, it means something that is "of" America (whether it's a person who was born here, or lives here, or is naturalized, or has even assimilated to "American" ideals and society).<br />
  • 5. Do you consider yourself to be patriotic?<br />No, while I am grateful for the opportunities I was given due to the fact that I live in the United States I do not see myself as an American. I come from two immigrant parents and I identify with my parents’ native country. I also find it very hard to be patriotic for a country that believes they are a model for the rest of the world but holds such backward values. <br />Yes, I do consider myself to be patriotic. I am a naturalized citizen originally from the Philippines and this country has been very good to my family and me. <br />Not really. I only think about my American identity when I’m outside of America… at which point, I usually feel guilty about it.<br />Although I do not wear my patriotism on my sleeve, if push came to shove, I would eagerly take action to protect this nation.<br />Yes…I support the many of the founding principles of this nation, including the ideals of capitalism, individuality, freedom, democracy and the ability of the individual to better his/her socioeconomic standing through motivation, dedication, and determination.<br />If patriotic means proud of the country that I live in, then yes, I consider myself patriotic. I feel that the ideological ideals upon which the United States were founded (liberty, pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech, etc) are in line with my own personal beliefs, and while I do have my reservations about the direction in which the country is going, I am still supportive of the country's ideals as a whole.<br />I am middle of the road- I am a pretty objective person. <br />Slightly. I would never register for the armed forces or anything like that. I admire those that do. I think that I acknowledge the privilege I have growing up as an American but desires more rights for the other people in this country who are marginalized.<br />Yes. I am very proud of being born and raised in the best country on earth. I stand up and remove my hat for the national anthem, I take pride in seeing Old Glory everywhere, and I especially respect and appreciate the service that our military provides for us, i.e. securing our freedom.<br />Yes, because I very strongly value the freedom & opportunities and democracy that I have as a privilege of being an American.<br />
  • 6. What do you do on the 4th of July?<br />On the 4th of July I go to my friend's house with my family where we set off fireworks and grill out and play games in the backyard because we are free to do so.<br />Eat hot dogs and burgers.<br />My family has a cookout either on the beach or at someone’s house outside. We flip burgers and have Christmas dinner. We really cook Cape Verdean food… We don’t really have 4th of July traditions or anything. I don’t even wear the colors of the flag anymore. I used to coordinate with my outfit, but I don’t really do that anymore.<br />Say the Pledge of Allegiance, sing the Star Spangled Banner, and watch fire works (and maybe [have] a BBQ).<br />Since [entering the US Military Academy], I have been on military training events during the 4th of July holiday. Whether we are in the field singing "Happy Birthday America" or out at a mandatory fireworks show, we do not forget that it was on that day in 1776 that our country was established.<br />I usually find myself playing sports and popping firecrackers.<br />Go to Mass Ave and watch the fire works (I do it more for my mom). <br />Have fun with family/friends and time to reflect.<br />I usually go to a park and watch fireworks, or have a picnic with friends. (or get drunk)<br />Cook. And eat. My dad makes like ribs and chicken and brats and stuff. Burgers.<br />
  • 7. Do you own an American flag?<br />Yes…and it is made out of a cheap cotton material. I purchased this particular American flag from a street vendor this past June while in South Korea. I wanted to display my American Pride during the World Cup and so bought what little American thing I could find in a foreign country. I figure that this American flag was made in South Korea…<br />Yes…military issued at my grandfather’s funeral.<br />No. (7 respondents)<br />I do own an American flag . I do not know where it was purchased or what it is made of. The flag was made in the United States. <br />I wouldn’t ever fly a flag because I think that some of the connotations that come along with flying the flag are negative, in my mind. <br />
  • 8. How would you feel if you found out an American flag was foreign-made?Would it make a difference which foreign country made it?<br />It does not matter to me, and it would not make a difference which country it was made in. <br />I don't think I would feel any particular way if I found out it was made in China, for example. I think that the American economy relies on manufactured products from other countries and it wouldn't surprise me if most American flags were made elsewhere.<br />Ideally, I would like all national symbols manufactured in the nation of which that particular symbol represents. However, I realize due to economic limitations, this is not viable. As long as there are no gross defects in the American flag (i.e. 47 stars instead of 50, 12 stripes instead of 13, etc) I believe there is no harm.<br />I would not be surprised.<br />I would consider it a little weird in the fact that we would outsource that type of job that is so closely related to patriotism but I don't feel that it would make a real difference if it was made in another country.<br />If I had a flag, then I think it is silly that another country would produce our flag.  However, for economical reasons, I know that it is bound to happen.  No it would not make a difference as long as people are treated humanely in the country that is producing it.<br />I mean, I would be like “well no s***.” That would be expected.<br />I would never buy an American flag made outside of the United States...It would not make any difference to me which country made it outside of the U.S. for it is the flag of the United States and should only be made here. <br />No. Aren’t they all manufactured in Mexico or some s***? Like not even in the US? I read that somewhere…I think the fact that the American flag is made outside of the US at all is a testament to the pervasiveness of capitalism – it’s just cheaper to produce it outside. Patriotism doesn’t matter.<br />
  • 9. What are your thoughts on other objects portraying the American flag being foreign-made?<br />I think if I had a loved one serving in the armed forces, I might wear something like that, but purely out of support for the troops – not for the country.<br />Something portraying the American flag is a different matter, and long as it is not disrespectful to the flag. An image of the flag is not as revered as the flag itself.<br />That doesn't make a difference in the least because plenty of countries make American paraphernalia for tourists and such. <br />I don't think that these objects in particular should necessarily be made in this country--it seems ridiculous to be stringent about where a flag is made, at least because I feel that a manufactured object doesn't represent the spirit of a country/nation.<br />I am indifferent towards them. I believe individuals should have the right to proudly display a symbol of their country.<br />I am alright with objects such as American flag pins, patches, etc. I feel that as long as the entire flag is shown and resembles its flag like rectangular shape…However, I wonder sometimes why individuals in the name of patriotism wear items such as American flag shirts and bandanas, where they can sweat and stain that American symbol. I do not think such items should be made to resemble the American flag, but I do appreciate the fact that we live in a country where we are free to do so.<br />I think it’s a little less disheartening when it’s other things. The fact that it’s a flag and is supposed to be symbolic of this country... and can’t even be made on our soil sucks.<br />I don’t own any… [If I did,] then I would also think that it makes sense – not that it’s a good thing, but that’s what I would expect. That’s how s*** runs nowadays.<br />
  • 10. Interviews conducted byGrace Chu, Stephanie Hong, and Jasmine Lee<br />

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