Alabama, sweet Alabama. We’ve got to talk. Recently, a survey came out, sipping its skinny, soy, iced latte, wearing its hipster glasses and nonchalantly dropped this bombshell – apparently, Alabama is one of the least patriotic states in America. Now, before we start having a barbecue of all our data research textbooks, let’s approach this with some classic Southern hospitality, shall we?
First off, let’s think about the basic units of patriotism – eagles, apple pies, fireworks, and an inexplicable obsession with red, white, and blue things. Now, I’ve lived in Alabama all my life, and let me tell you, we’ve got all of that and then some. I once saw an eagle perched on a ‘Bama flag while eating apple pie and watching a firework display in the middle of July. Now, if that ain’t patriotic, I might as well start spelling ‘color’ with a ‘u.’
Next, let’s talk about those anthems. In Alabama, they’ve got enough anthems to make a Broadway musical look underprepared. ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ ‘Alabama,’ ‘Stars Fell on Alabama,’ ‘My Home’s in Alabama’ – this state has more theme songs than a superhero movie franchise. And you’re telling me that ain’t patriotic?
Now, if this survey considered ‘not having enough commemorative license plates’ as a sign of lack of patriotism, then we might be onto something. But alas, Alabama has its commemorative license plates game on point too. We’ve got plates for veterans, plates for Purple Heart recipients, plates for military reserves, plates for the armed forces, heck we’ve probably even have a plate for patriotic plates.
Did I mention that we host one of the biggest Independence Day celebrations at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, where they literally shoot rockets into the sky? Big rockets. If that doesn’t scream ‘We love America,’ I don’t know what does. Shoot, one of our rockets even took Americans to plant an American flag on the moon!
But maybe, just maybe, this survey is on to something. Maybe Alabama isn’t patriotic in the typical, clichéd way. Maybe Alabama is patriotic in its unique, understated way. Maybe we’re patriotic in how we cherish our rich history, from the Civil Rights Movement to the space race. Maybe we’re patriotic in how we respect our diverse heritage, from our Native American roots to our vibrant immigrant communities. Maybe we’re patriotic in the way we nurture our unique Southern charm, from our small towns to our bustling cities.
So, the next time someone tries to tell you that Alabama isn’t patriotic, remind them of all this. Remind them that patriotism isn’t just about flag-waving and anthem-singing, but about honoring our past, celebrating our diversity, and striving towards a better future. Remind them that Alabama, sweet Alabama, is patriotic in our own unique way. And that’s something worth celebrating this 4th of July.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an eagle to feed, some apple pie to bake, and some fireworks to shoot. Because in Alabama, that’s just a regular Tuesday.