Today, as you know, is Flag Day.
Although the Czar was born several centuries ago in the steppes of Russia, he was quick to follow the progress of the American Revolution. We came to this country in 1776 and have stayed ever since. Immigration was an easier process then, particularly if you had money and little trouble with violence.
One thing the Czar has noticed around the world is how people view their country. And Americans do it better than anyone. Sure, as the President was stupidly said, Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism and Brits believe in British exceptionalism, but the fact is they really dont. In fact, there is a huge difference between being an American and being anyone else. You call yourself American.
The Czar can move to the Phillipines and go through their citizenship process, but he cannot call himself a Filipino. A Filipino can come here and call himself an American. Ask an American kid where hes from, and hell tell you he is one-quarter Irish, one-quarter German, and half-Swedish, but hes all American. Ask an Italian kid where he is from, and hell say Milan.
Being American is an idea. It is assumed that most of us here came from somewhere elseyes, even Navajos will get specific about where they came from. We choose to identify as Americans and we tend to be quite happy about it.
When the American national anthem plays at the Olympics, the Americans stand up, remove their hats, place a hand over their hearts, and try to sing along. When another countrys anthem plays, those nationals may not stand at all. And if they do stand, they shift their weight and hope they play the short version so they can sit back down. They rarely know the words to their own anthem, and they certainly dont carry on the way Blackhawks fans cheer for the flag.
Although the Czar has noticed this is changing. At the 2012 Olympics, the Czar spotted Australians standing at attention and singing Advance Australia Fair. When the Italians won, the Czar saw the athletes on the podium positively belting out Il Canto degli Italiani. And there is no doubt that Canadians have discovered O Canada is an awesome prayer.
This is a recent thing, actually. While nationals were expected to stand and sing their anthems, they never seemed to believe it. It was like a church hymn you sang because it was assigned for that part of the service. But then as television spread images of Americans standing, cheering, and placing their hands over their hearts, the other countries began to catch on. By the 1960s, Canadians were taking it seriously in their newfound patriotism and due to their intermixing with American sports teams. Watching the Olympics, more and more citizens of different countries are getting into their anthems for the first time.
And maybe then there will be Greek exceptionalism or British exceptionalism. But right now, Americans love their flag because they choose to.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.