— Flat-out first in the percent of residents who have enlisted in the military.
— and again, number one in a requirement for civics education in school.
But we are a little farther down the charts on the some of the other measures, WalletHub says.
For instance, Georgia is 11th in active-duty military personnel per capita. We are a below-average 28th in the percentage of residents who voted in the last presidential election. And we are a very mediocre 30th in the number of veterans per capita.
That last, of course, is one of the mathematical prices we pay for being one of the more populous states. The number state for per-capita vet population was Alaska, which has about as many residents as attendees at your typical SEC football game.
Tops for voting? Garrison Keillor's people (Minnesota, that is). Highest rate of volunteers for the military? That would be Utah.
Over all, the top five for patriotism in the WalletHub ranking: Virginia, Alaska, South Carolina, Colorado and Georgia.
Yes, we noticed that three of the top five patriotic states actually fought against the United States army in that unpleasantness back in the 1860s. And the other two were of them were not even states at all.
But that was then and this is now.
One note of potential contradiction, as noted in the AJC: a previous survey showed Georgia's actual treatment of vets did not rank high at all.
Oh, and I suppose you want to know who ranked dead last for patriotism, according to WalletHub: New Jersey.
Well, as they say in Detroit, your mileage may differ.
For those inclined to reflect or debate, WalletHub's report also includes an interesting dialogue among a panel of experts on the question of patriotism.
One, Howard Schweber, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin said there’s a hard-to-define balance between support of your country and willingness to criticize.
“Under historically normal circumstances… we can say that a good patriot is someone who is willing to celebrate a country’s greatness and will seek to correct its failings and in both cases is equally motivated by a sense of duty.”
Theresa Martinez, a sociology professor at the University of Utah expressed some caution about even using the word.
“I believe we should unpack the term ‘patriot.’ It seems to belong to the modern nation-building era and hearken back to the empire-building of ancient times. Shouldn’t we have moved beyond the narrow view that our country is the center of the universe?
“Having said that, it is also important to recognize our own history and how it has influenced and keeps influencing us.”
WalletHub is a Washington, D.C.-based online site offering credit scores, analysis and financial advice. The company also has something of a fetish about calculating economic lists.