by Victoria Vallejo Fuccella

I wake up every morning wearing a Spanish flag on my wrist and I get criticized for it.
Nationalism and patriotism is suddenly something bad. Since when?

Spaniards think Spain is the best place to live, but they are not proud to be Spanish

Well thanks to wars and dictators gone mad, wearing your country’s flag can be seen as a sign of fascism. I love my country, I love the people and I am proud of it. I understand that every country has its good and bad things. I understand that Spain has a high rate of corruption, joblessness, and the poverty rates are also raising, do to the causes already mentioned. But then again, does this mean I shouldn’t be allowed to be proud of it? Proud of what it has accomplished.

After a hard dictatorship, it is now a democracy. Proud of those, even though they are not the majorities, who have achieved incredible things, who have changed Spain to a better country. Adolfo Suarez, first democratic president.

Germans also have a problem with nationalism, but with more reason than Spaniards

Not only Spanish people shouldn’t be criticized for being patriotic, but also Germans should be proud of their country. I have seen and learned that in Germany it is impossible to hang on a daily basis a flag of their country without having people thinking that you are a fascist, communist or in the worst-case even Nazi. I understand that their history makes it close to impossible to feel proud but I feel that it is not a crime to be patriotic and proud.

I am not afraid of judgments and I will continue wearing my Spanish flag. It is all a matter of respect and freedom of opinion. Two things that many people don’t seem to have. I especially see this in people my age. I have even seen physical fights begin due to wearing a Spanish flag or even the other way round, a republican flag. The same way I should be allowed to wear my flag, republicans should too.
Do I agree with that flag? That doesn’t matter. What matters is that young people don’t have any tolerance and since teenagers are the ones who are most likely to be radicalized (since it is the age where we are most easily influenced) bad things result from it. Same reason why ISIS recluses mostly boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 19. Radicalization of the young society causes us to grow up with closed minds and without any kind of respect and tolerance.

It’s sad to see how even though we live in a modern society; we still get criticized for expressing what we feel. Where is the freedom of opinion?