On April 6, 1918, the Congress of the United States officially adopted a statement by William Tyler Page. "The American's Creed," as an expression of our national faith and purpose. It therefore represents an "official" definition of patriotism.


 I believe in the United States of America, as a government of
the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers
are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a
republic; a sovereign nation of many sovereign states; a
perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those
principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for
which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortune.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to
support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its
flag, and to defend it against all enemies.

The essence of patriotic devotion was expressed most simply by
a martyr of the Revolution, Nathan Hale, who faced death with
the famous words, "I only regret that I have but one life to
lose for my country." The Signers of the Declaration of
Independence also understood that the essence of patriotism is
the willingness to sacrifice for the common good, when they
signed the equally famous statement written by Thomas
Jefferson, "For the support of this Declaration, with a firm
Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually
pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred