Mon. Jul 26th, 2021

Florida may seem like a relatively patriotic state, but a survey released Monday suggests Florida Man and Florida Woman aren’t bleeding red, white, and blue.

A study from Wallethub ranked all 50 states among various markers of patriotism. The Sunshine State ranked 49th.

The only state considered less patriotic than Florida was New York.

Connecticut, Michigan, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Texas rounded out the bottom 10.

Wallethub’s criteria may differ from what some see as patriotism, even though findings overall found “red states” were more patriotic than “blue states.”

“In order to determine where Americans have the most red, white and blue pride, WalletHub compared the states across 13 key indicators of patriotism. Our data set ranges from the state’s military enlistees and veterans to the share of adults who voted in the 2020 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita,” asserted financial writer Adam McCann in an essay accompanying the poll.

Florida was not bottom five in most metrics, but in terms of volunteers, the state came in 50th with just 23{85245cd25b56c80c5b7fbe16195da482b1a2d4d533fd90ff485ef932778890f3} of residents qualifying as volunteers. The difference is stark compared to other states. Floridians were less than half as likely to volunteer with AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps as people in Utah, where 51{85245cd25b56c80c5b7fbe16195da482b1a2d4d533fd90ff485ef932778890f3} volunteer.

“Utah has the highest volunteer rate, 51{85245cd25b56c80c5b7fbe16195da482b1a2d4d533fd90ff485ef932778890f3}, which is 2.2 times higher than in Florida, the state with the lowest at 22.8{85245cd25b56c80c5b7fbe16195da482b1a2d4d533fd90ff485ef932778890f3},” the study found.

The study weighted military service, including current, retired, and reservist, as 25{85245cd25b56c80c5b7fbe16195da482b1a2d4d533fd90ff485ef932778890f3} of its score. Florida came in 19th place there.

The other 75{85245cd25b56c80c5b7fbe16195da482b1a2d4d533fd90ff485ef932778890f3} was civic engagement, where Florida was the absolute worst according to Wallethub. That metric includes volunteerism, election participation, club or group membership, voting in elections, and a “civics education requirement.”

The comes as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to push revamps to civics and history education, meanwhile. DeSantis had previously rolled out the Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative in March. That program will, according to DeSantis, make Florida “the national leader in civics education” and “get politicization out of the curriculum.”

As well, Florida’s Board of Education banned critical race theory earlier this month.

“The woke class wants to teach kids to hate each other, rather than teaching them how to read, but we will not let them bring nonsense ideology into Florida’s schools,” said DeSantis, hailing the rule change.

He also has two bills waiting for his signature that would implement his vision for civics education.

House Bill 5 compels the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to develop or approve an integrated K-12 civics education curriculum, which would include coursework contrasting “communism and totalitarianism … with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.”

Senate Bill 146 would allow school districts to set coursework about specific civic engagement projects in their communities.

Many, particularly those inclined to proudly display the American flag from American-made trucks or suburban yards, will likely balk at the study findings. But it suggests one thing about patriotism — waving the nation’s flag isn’t the only way to show pride of country.


Florida Politics’ Capitol correspondent Haley Brown contributed to this article.

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