For generations, New York has been seen as the gateway toward new opportunities and bright horizons. Our ancestors who immigrated and sailed into Ellis Island saw the Statue of Liberty and felt a sense of renewal. As Alicia Keys once said about New York, "...Where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do! Let's hear it for New York!"

Today, not just New York City brings in tourists, but even our humble Hudson Valley with our countless historical sites, landmarks, and attractions. New York has some of the greatest landscapes from the Hudson Valley, the Catskills, the Adirondacks, and more! We have the ocean to our south, are populated by majestic lakes and rivers, and our state is a quarter farmland!

You would think that with our proud history, strong tourism, and all of our opportunities that New York would be pretty patriotic. Well, you would be wrong.

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Is New York the Least Patriotic State?

One of my favorite YouTubers Ben Brainard plays up the New York stereotype well in his "Welcome to the Table" series: a cold, combative, impatient, and proud people. That being said, are New Yorkers the first people to show up on a list of patriotism? Not even close. In fact, it's even worse than last year.

WalletHub put out its annual list of the Most Patriotic States in America. They compared the states across 13 key indicators of patriotism, ranging from a state's military enlistees and veterans to the share of adults who voted in the presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita.

Last year, WalletHub ranked New York 47th out of 50 states. In 2022, New York is rated 49th out of 50 with the lowest Veterans per Capita in the nation. The lowest states on the list are:

46) Massachusetts

47) Florida

48) Rhode Island

49) New York

50) Arkansas

There must be something up with the East Coast. However, there is this saying, "The East Coast is kind but not nice, the West Coast is nice but not kind." New York may not always have the sweetest, softest reputation, but when things matter most and times get tough, a New Yorker would have your back. New Yorkers are resilient people, and perhaps we don't always show up in the ways that this list is ranking, but we show up where it is needed.

One of my favorite stories that exemplify New Yorkers' behavior comes from one of my best friends. He recently went out to college in Kansas. For his first couple of weeks, people would ask him, "Hey, what's up?" and in regular New York fashion, he gave the typical head nod and returned with a "Hey, what up?" Finally, one of his friends confronted him by saying, "Why are you being such a jerk?" My friend was taken off guard and asked for further clarification. "We ask you what's up and you brush everyone off." Stunned, my friend goes, "Wait? You actually care? You're actually asking that question?" This may not be a story of patriotism, but it is a story of typical New York behavior.

WalletHub admits that patriotism is "a complex subject, depending on who's involved in the discussion." To get their answers, they asked a panel of experts to share their thoughts on the following questions:

  1. What are the characteristics of a good patriot?
  2. What are the best ways for an individual to show patriotism?
  3. What is the relative influence of economic incentives versus patriotic intentions when deciding whether or not to join the military? Has this changed over time?
  4. Should we be raising our children as global citizens first or as Americans first?
  5. What measures should schools and local authorities undertake in order to promote patriotism among citizens?

For those of you who are curious, the most patriotic states this year are:

  1. Alaska
  2. Montana
  3. Virginia
  4. North Dakota
  5. Oregon


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