Whether patriotism has a valuable part to play in the educational system of a democratic society is now a highly contentious matter. This chapter argues that it does, principally because such a society is a kind of cooperative practice that requires its members to enact, enforce, and – in most cases – obey the laws that govern their self-governing polity. Democracies rely on rules, and especially the rule of law, to provide the reasonably clear expectations necessary to coordinate public activities and to overcome collective-action problems. By encouraging citizens to set aside personal advantage and play a cooperative part in democratic life, patriotism contributes to the public spirit essential to democracy. For that reason, promoting patriotic attitudes is a worthy aim of democratic education.

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