Instead of defining patriotism as simply “love for or devotion to one’s country” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition), Barna chose instead to select 15 different descriptions. He found that most Americans — young or old; black, white, or Hispanic; conservative or liberal; born-again, “notional,” or skeptic — consider themselves patriotic. There was notable agreement about six of those descriptions:
• Individual rights come with personal responsibilities;
• Proud to be an American;
• Believe in and obey the Constitution;
• Committed to carrying out your individual civic duty;
• Willing to die to protect our freedoms; and
• Defending and living by the rules and ways of life described in the Constitution, whether you agree with them or not.