Idaho: A patriotic place

Study shows Gem State is fourth-most patriotic

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With the Fourth of July just days away, a new study has deemed Idaho among the most patriotic states in the nation.

The Gem State was ranked fourth by Wallethub, a consumer financial resource organization that analyzed which U.S. states bleed the most red, white and blue.

"Good patriots are engaged citizens who know their country's history, follow its involvement in current events, and devote time and energy to its success," said study participant Lydia Moland, an associate professor of philosophy at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. "They are proud of the good their country has achieved. They are also aware of its shortcomings and are determined to address them. Ignorance and denial make patriotism shallow; honesty and awareness make it powerful."

Wallethub compared all American states across two dimensions: Military engagement and civic engagement.

Military engagement was determined by the number of veterans and active-duty military personnel per capita and the percent of residents who enlisted in the military in 2013. The Gem State has the eighth-highest percentage of residents enlisted in the military.

Under civic engagement, the survey looked at the percentage of residents who voted in the 2012 presidential election, the volunteer rate, the number of Peace Corps volunteers per 100,000 residents, the frequency of Google searches for American flags and civic education.

Idaho ranks fifth in having the most Peace Corps volunteers per capita and has the fourth-highest volunteer rate in the nation.

When asked what measures schools and other authorities can take to promote patriotism among citizens, study participant Laurance S. Rockefeller, a professor of politics at Princeton, said it is important to be able to look at the nation's practices with a critical eye.

"It's our obligation to make our country better. We need to live up to our highest ideals, and recognize that we rarely attain them."

Virginia was ranked the most patriotic state, with Washington and Colorado in second and third place. The least patriotic states, according to the study, are Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York. 

To view the complete study, visit: 2015's Most and Least Patriotic States

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