Why Do My Kids Hate America?

Your Other Dad says you and your kids define patriotism differently.

David Valdes
GEN
Published in
4 min readJul 11, 2021

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Photo: Josh Willink for Pexels

Dear Other Dad —

Fourth of July was a disaster. My kids didn’t want flags up and they gave me a hard time about wearing red, white, and blue. I let them put up their pride flags in June, so why can’t they do this for me? When did loving my country become a bad thing?

— 4thBlues

You are not alone in seeing a generational shift away from embracing the American flag. Gen Z has the lowest rates of self-identified patriotism among all demographics, a title once held by their predecessors, Millennials. These statistics raise questions. What do symbols like the flag or “red, white, and blue” convey to kids today? What does patriotism look like for them?

Let’s start with the American flag. For many older Americans (but, to be clear, not all by a long shot), the flag represents the values to which we’re taught to pledge allegiance: liberty and justice for all. The flag for many represents battles fought against Nazis and kamikaze bombers, as well as the “American dream” ideal in which anyone can become who…

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David Valdes
GEN
Writer for

David Valdes is a Cuban-American author who writes about family, race, and LGBTQ issues. His book Brighter than the Moon releases in January 2023.