A majority of the nation’s older teens and over one-third of millennials believe former President Barack Obama had a greater impact on the United States than its first president and Revolutionary War leader George Washington.
Additionally, nearly half of younger Americans think the United States is not “great,” and a significant percentage of millennials (19 percent) see the flag as “a sign of intolerance and hatred.”
These are among the many findings of the first “State of American Patriotism” survey conducted by YouGov, which was commissioned by The Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness.
FLAG is “dedicated to educating Americans about the values and principles that make our nation exceptional.”
The organization promotes and provides civics education to K-12 students across the country.
The group’s poll found a significant age gap in viewing the importance of the nation’s first president, for whom America’s capital city and an entire state are named and whose visage adorns Mount Rushmore.
When asked, “Which president has had a bigger impact on the country we live in today?,” 55 percent of the Older Generation Z (ages 18 to 21), and 37 percent of millennials (ages 22 to 37) responded that Obama, the nation’s first African American president, was more influential than Washington.
Generation X (ages 38 to 53) and baby boomers (54 to 72) shared similar sentiments to the millennials, while the Silent Generation (73 or older), gave Washington more of an upper hand, with 69 percent saying he had a greater impact.
The poll further found that older generations are far more likely to believe in American greatness than the younger ones.
A little better than half of the Young Generation Z (51 percent) believe America is the greatest country in the world, compared to 86 percent among the Silent Generation.
One in eight millennials (14 percent) agree with the statement: “America was never a great country and it never will be.”
Regarding the nation’s economy, only about half of Generation Z and millennials think “America should be driven by capitalism,” versus 83 percent among the Silent Generation.
“We suspected that we would find decreasing numbers of Americans well-versed in our nation’s most important principles and young people less patriotic than the generations that came before, but we were totally unprepared for what our national survey reveals: an epidemic of anti-Americanism,” Nick Adams, founder of FLAG, said upon the report’s release.
“That half of millennials and Gen Z believe that the country in which they live is both ‘racist’ and ‘sexist’ shows that we have a major fraction of an entire generation that has been indoctrinated by teachers starting in grade school that America is what’s wrong with the world,” he added.
View more of the survey’s findings below.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.