When it comes to patriotic anthems I do love “America the Beautiful”, especially the second stanza.
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
A patriotic song that allows for critique concerning flaws hits me just right. And I really like “Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law! ” A message sorely lacking today.
Growing up in the sixties and seventies I wasn’t very patriotic in that I thought there was nothing but flaws. It took joining the military for non-patriotic reasons and seeing the world to finally come to understand my homeland and to see it in a new light. It is always easy to be complacent and not realize what you have until you have something to compare it to.