WalletHub is out with another list, this time ranking the states with regard to patriotism. The states were compared using 13 key indicators ranging from share of the enlisted military population to share of adults who voted in the 2016 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita.
By this standard of measure Tennessee ranks squarely in the middle, 28th. The Volunteer State ranks toward the middle in most areas, but only 48th in voter participation. By comparison, New Hampshire came in first, mostly due to greater "civic engagement" - volunteer rates, jury participation, share of residents who participate in civic organizations, etc.
New Jersey finished last-poor in nearly every category followed closely by New York-same story. The average Republican state was found to be slightly more patriotic than the average Democratic state. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Illinois are also among the least patriotic states, while nearly half of the top 10 were located in America's geographic Southeast.
Also, those who describe themselves as "conservatives" are far more likely than other people to characterize themselves as extremely patriotic – in fact, about twice as likely to do so than either moderates or liberals.
My question and challenge to you-the reader is your opinion on what makes a state, a city, a community, patriotic? Do WalletHub's criteria give Tennessee justice?
It's the Volunteer State after all and sports American flags flying high in yards, historic homes, and respect for American traditions. In 2013, the social networking website Foursquare hailed Knoxville as America's most patriotic city based on their results on social media check-ins at parks, firework retailers and July 4 parades.
Significantly, Nashville boasts one of the nation's greatest Independence Day fireworks celebrations.
Patriotism ranking extends beyond just states to all sorts of categories. The 17th annual Brand Keys survey of iconic American brands in 115 categories identified the brands American consumers feel best embody the value of "patriotism." Jeep, Disney, and Ford made the top three, and I can see why, but including MSNBC, Instagram, and Starbucks in the top 25 is pretty questionable, for me anyway - but that's just an opinion.
Is "my country right or wrong" or "questioning authority-like our founding fathers did" more patriotic?
These lists can be fun but also offer never-ending debates. Is Marcos Mariota really the 22nd best of the NFL 32 starting quarterbacks? It's endless. What do you think?