Much talk on US patriotism and nationalism occurs in television, radio and the Internet. But can you actually recall what your very own state flag looks like? Love of country and of one’s fellow men is undeniably an important virtue that must be inculcated in every American child. These values have, time and again, been incorporated in the curricula and syllabi of the country’s hallowed educational system. The media, in addition, have not faltered in presenting some form of patriotism in shows and advertisements. However, in spite of these seemingly great leaps forward in the pursuit of American patriotism, it is unfortunate that people seem to have forgotten American geography, truly a fundamental pillar in any effort to instill love of country in our citizens.
In any regular class in primary or secondary school, how many students can correctly name the state flower or mention the state motto? Expectedly, only a few students–mostly those belonging to either the top of their class or to a group of savants–would be able to do so. But, if we want to make sure that love of country and fellowmen becomes a fixture in every American’s value system, should we not begin their education with mastery of American and state geography?
Unfortunately, a lot of students find state geography a pretty boring and monotonous subject so that students may spend their geography classes sleeping, doodling or chatting rather than actually identifying state symbols or locating state capitals in the map of the United States. One important key, therefore, towards mastery of state geography is to make the subject interesting for students, which is no mean feat for most middle school or high school students, who think of the state flag, state flower or state motto as nothing more than factoids that have to be memorized to pass the course.
Hence, interest in the American and state geography should begin early. Children should first be shown glimpses of American geography while they are still young and impressionable, such that when they begin their formal lessons in the matter as part of their primary and secondary school curricula, they will look at the subject with interest and anticipation rather than with dread and boredom.
A useful and educational activity for children just beginning to study American and state geography is through coloring state flags. Quite fortunately, information and communication technology has caught up with American and state geography, and downloadable outlines of all the state flags are available in the internet for free.
You can check the following sites for free and downloadable coloring flags of American states:
Parents and teachers alike can take advantage of the Internet’s convenience and accessibility to get activities for the children. Patriotism should begin not with deep talk and abstract words but with the fundamentals, like American geography.
In general, children find the activity of coloring quite engrossing. Hence, if we let them color pages of the different state flags, not only are familiarizing them with the appearances of each state flag, we are also doing so in a very interesting way for them.