Immigrant Patriotism

Fare thee well going away,
There's nothing left to say.
Farewell to New York City boys,
To Boston and PA,
He took them out,
With a well-aimed clout,
He was often heard to say,
I'm a free born man of the USA!
-The Pogues, "Body of an American"

When a character makes expresses a great deal of love and patriotism for their homeland when they're not 'native' (by virtue of ethnicity or place of birth) to said homeland. Chinese and German 'ethnic nationalism' says such feelings are traitorous and false as every person only has one true 'homeland' to which they will always belong by virtue of their ethnicity, but Indian and Russian 'civic nationalism' disagree on the grounds that a person's real 'homeland' is whatever one feels it is. The European-type settler societies of the New World (Australia, Canada, etcetc) are built on 'civic nationalism'.

This is not about immigrants in general, but specifically those who love their new homeland (more than their old one).


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Dominura in Simoun has this, in combination with her starving refugee childhood, as a Freudian Excuse for some of her more unethical actions towards her fellow sibyllae on behalf of the Simulacran government.
  • Goku develops this after learning he's an alien in Dragon Ball Z. He's horrified that he comes from a race of planet-stripping mercenaries, but comes around after hearing how Freeza manipulated them. He nonetheless refers to himself as "a Saiyan raised on Planet Earth", and fights Cell in his classic outfit rather than Saiyan armor to better represent the world he's saving.
  • Shinn Asuka of Gundam SEED Destiny, despite being born on Earth, is a proud soldier of ZAFT and even becomes one of its leader's closest confidantes.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman: "Truth, justice, and the American way", anybody? Despite not even being from Earth? It doesn't hurt that Krypton is often shown as having at least as many social problems as Earth before it exploded. He spends much of the New Krypton storyline wrestling with this.

  • Charlie Wilson's War.
    Gust: But let me ask you. The 3,000 agents Turner fired, was that because they lacked diplomatic skills as well?
    Cravely: You're referring to Admiral Stansfield Turner?
    Gust: Yeah, the 3,000 agents. Each and every goddamn one of them first- or second-generation Americans. Is that because they lacked the proper diplomatic skills? Or did Turner not think it was a good idea to have spies who could speak the same language as the people they're f—king spying on?
    Cravely: Well, I'm sorry, but you can hardly blame the Director for questioning the loyalty to America of people that are just barely Americans.
    Gust: My loyalty! For twenty four years people have been trying to kill me! People who know how. Now do you think that's because my dad was a Greek soda pop maker? Or do you think that's because I'm an American spy?
  • The Presidio: Presumably added in to justify Sean Connery Not Even Bothering with the Accent, Lieutenant Colonel Caldwell (while quite sloshed), talks about how he moved to America with his father when he was ten, and fell in love with the country from the moment he saw the Statue of Liberty. He loved his new homeland so much, he joined the Army in order to protect her.
  • Taxi: Latka Gravis (played by Andy Kaufman)
  • Juror #11 in 12 Angry Men adores America's jury system and democratic government, implying that wherever he's from doesn't have either, and gets severely offended when Juror #7 just doesn't care and changes his vote purely out of boredom with the proceedings.

  • Lord Varys, the Master of Whispers in A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones. He is a eunuch from the eastern Free City of Lys, and the only man on the Small Council who professes loyalty to The Kingdom itself, rather than to family, money, or power.
  • The Carol Plum-Ucci novel, Streams of Babel makes a serious point about this.
  • In Shanghai Girls, Pearl, who immigrates from China in The Thirties, becomes extremely patriotic, even converting to Christianity and frowning on traditional Chinese ancestor worship. Her sister May assimilates even more into American culture, although Pearl's husband and father-in-law never quite fit in.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Lorne. As soon as he heard Aretha Franklin's voice, he knew he was home.
  • Played for laughs by Raj Koothrapali in The Big Bang Theory. He hates Indian food and considers India to be too crowded with Indians for his liking. When he's been questioned by an FBI agent as part of a background check for his best friend, he keeps turning the conversation to his legal status in the United States and refers to himself as "a real Yankee Doodle boy!"
  • Lane Pryce on Mad Men embraces America and emphatically insists that his family put down roots in New York despite his wife's doubts and his father's literally violent opposition. Nevertheless, he defends Jaguar, celebrates England's win in the '66 World Cup, takes an active role in the British expatriate community, and always remains the Quintessential British Gentleman.
  • Worf on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. While he is obsessed with Klingon tradition-more even than most Klingons are-he is also completely loyal to the Federation to the point of fighting against the Klingon Empire.
  • Malcolm Merriweather, a recurring English character on The Andy Griffith Show, displays detailed knowledge of American history in a scene where Barney tries to lecture him on the subject.
  • Dave Nelson on NewsRadio is a veritable encyclopedia on Americana despite being a Canadian immigrant.
  • On Doctor Who, the Doctor begins to feel this way about Earth (in this case, Britain) after a bit. He apparently always had something of a Foreign Culture Fetish for the place, and after the Time Lords banished him there as their idea of an ironic punishment he becomes smitten with the planet, happily considering himself an Earth defender. Particularly highlighted in "The Claws of Axos" in which the story's Hate Sink is a right-wing politician with an anti-immigration philosophy who spends much of the story being needlessly suspicious of the Doctor for being what can euphemistically be described as 'foreign'. By "In The Forest of the Night" he openly regards the Earth as his real home.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In WWE this was Japanese wrestler Kenzo Suzuki's gimmick for a time. He once interrupted an interview with Rey Mysterio Jr in which he used Gratuitous Spanish by saying "You in America now. You speak English!"
  • "El Chico Illegal" Chicano took a liking to Puerto Rico as time went on. When Ricardo Rodriguez insisted he was not in fact a Chicano but a Puerto Rican dog, El Chico was most offended by the fact Rodriguez had insulted the island and its people, rather than his self identified ethnicity.

    Web Original 
  • Miss Militia of Worm lived in a warzone as a child and was rescued by American soldiers and adopted by an American family. She embraced her new cultural identity by becoming a Captain Patriotic.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons did it! In one episode, Apu studies to become a naturalized American citizen when a new Springfield ordinance threatens to have him deported. He passes the citizenship exam when he gives a detailed explanation of the causes of the Civil War (when he could have just said 'slavery'), showing his devotion to becoming a citizen. After the ordinance passes anyway...
    Homer: When will people learn—democracy doesn't work!!
    Apu: Hey, don't knock the land that I love. (opens a piece of mail, then gasps) Jury duty! I am truly an American citizen now! (tosses it in the trash)
  • The Futurama episode "A Taste of Freedom" starts on Freedom Day, which is the Fourth of July for the entire planet, when Zoidberg winds up eating a flag and getting put on trial for desecrating the flag on live television. He wins up starting a war between Earth and his home planet of Decapod 10, and in the end picks Earth over the Decapodians because of the death of his lawyer.

    Real Life 
  • This, combined with many cultural misunderstandings (Played for Laughs) makes up much of Yakov Smirnoff's comedy routine.
  • Walter Krueger, George Kenney, and John Shalikashvili (born in Germany, Canada, and Poland, respectively), all rose to be four-star Generals in the American army. Similarly, Hyman G. Rickover, born in Russian-controlled Poland, became a four-star Admiral in the US Navy (becoming known as the "father of the nuclear navy" for his campaign to bring nuclear naval propulsion to the fore).
    • Krueger, the German, is notable for being promoted to that rank during World War II, while the United States was fighting Germany.
    • Shalikashvili was ethnically Georgian—i.e., from a country part of the Soviet Union at the time of his birth (his parents were nobility exiled from the country by Red October). He eventually became the chief military commander of NATO shortly after The Great Politics Mess-Up, and was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—the highest-ranking member of the US military—from 1993 to 1997.
    • Rickover is something of a borderline case, as he fled with his family to the U.S. at the age of five. You see, the Rickovers were Jewish, and there were a lot of pogroms in those days, so perhaps it's no surprise that Rickover never felt much sympathy for the Russians.
  • A similar eastern example is Konstantin Rokossovsky, Red Army commander in the World War II and twice-awarded Hero of the USSR. Rokossovsky was a 'technically' born in the Russian Empire (which is not to say it was the same country as the USSR), since Poland was under the Tsar's rule. Poland became independent early in his career, and he was, through no small display of his own tenacity and brilliance, awarded the highest military rank in the Soviet Union, that of Marshal-all after having been a target of the purge of the 1930s. In modern Russia, he is famously remembered for never having lost a battle he fought, was compared to Georgian war hero Bagration by Stalin himself, held the post of Defense Minister after the much more famous Zhukov, and was buried next to the walls of the Kremlin.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • The annual Nathan's hotdog-eating competition was started by three immigrants to America arguing over who was most patriotic.
  • The late Christopher Hitchens was an English immigrant to America, and was very fond of the founding principles of the nation, most notably freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
  • Philosopher Jurgen Habermas also felt the same, his fondness for the American system reflected in his writings. And given his ideological aversion to most if not all forms of nationalism or patriotism, that says a lot.
  • Practically any of the original Zionists. That was after all kind of the point.
  • Truth in Television, at least in Canada. A 2012 poll found that 88% of immigrants considered themselves "very proud" to be Canadian, compared to 81% of Canadians who were born there.
  • Go to south Florida around the Fourth of July sometime. Many of the Cuban immigrants who live there are some of the most fiercely patriotic Americans you'll ever meet. It's not an exaggeration to say that a lot of Cuban Americans love their new home country and HATE Fidel Castro and anything related to Communism.
  • Craig Ferguson shows this from time to time, and titled his autobiography American on Purpose.
  • A very dark example comes from the writings of the psychologist Alfred Adler, who pointed out that some of the most destructive political leaders in history were immigrants or minorities who'd become fervent nationalists (Adolf Hitler the Austrian-German dictator of the German peoples would be the Trope Codifier for immigrants, and Joseph Stalin the Georgian in the multi-ethnic but half-Russian Soviet Union would be the minority example. Adler also mentions Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect and most uncompromising prime minister of South Africa's apartheid regime, who was born outside of South Africa.) Adler, the man who invented the term "inferiority complex," speculated that these men felt they had something to prove and proved it with unpleasant thoroughness.
    • One of the nastiest and most mercilessly anti-semitic Nazis had the name Rosenberg. Perhaps he felt he had to prove his Party loyalty, more than most...
  • Loads of German Russians, like Mikhail Barclay De Tolly and Catherine the Great.
    • Other Russian examples are Boris Repetur and Anton Zaitsev, the two hosts of the first Russian TV show about video games. The former is Jewish, the latter is half-Sudanese. When discussing foreign games about WWII, they always mentioned their disgust at the America Wins the War trope and lack of mention of the Soviet's decisive role in winning the war.
  • The saying More Irish than the Irish themselves, today most often applied to The Irish Diaspora's over enthusiasm for their ancestry, originally referred to the Normans who invaded Ireland in the 11th and 12th centuries (after the Conquest of England) and thoroughly assimilated. The Normans-or "Old English" as they came to be called after a later wave of immigration from the east, became thoroughly integrated into Irish Gaelic culture, speaking Gaelic as their first language and modelling their behavior after the fashion of the native Irish gentry. When the "New English" came over after the Tudor conquest, these "Old English" were as like as not to side with the Irish rather than their supposed kinsmen.