National Identity: Meaning, Need And Ways Of Preserving National Identity

Meaning Of National Identity

This is a state of being closely involved with one’s nation. It is a concept used to associate a person with his nation or country.

Every nation desire to build an efficient and dynamic modern state with a distinctive identity. When this is done, an individual citizen becomes very proud to associate or identify himself with the state.

National identity is seen as a nationalistic feeling of love for one’s own nation and ready to work towards the development of the nation and even to pay the supreme sacrifice for the security of the nation if the need arises.

A patriotic citizen is one who identifies himself with the values of his nation and promotes the image of his nation locally and internationally by his works and conduct.

The Citizen Can Exhibit National Identity In Many Ways, Which Include:

1. Leadership By Example

This involves selfless service to the nation by being an honest and dependable leader who ensures good governance and upholds the rules in the game of politics. Leaders like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania had a love for their country.

They were seen to be firm, just, and resourceful and contributed immensely towards their nation-building.

2. Service To The Nation

A person that identifies strongly with his nation will represent his nation well in diplomatic service, international competitions like sports and football games and be highly devoted to his duty, work with pride, maintain the dignity of labor and contribute towards the political, economic, and social development of his nation.

In fact, he would serve the nation well by placing national interest first before personal interest.

3. Discharge Of Civic Responsibility

National identity is evidenced when a citizen discharges his civic responsibility like payment of taxes and rates, being law-abiding, and having respect for constituted authorities.

4. Maintenance Of Peace And Unity

A person who identifies himself properly with his state will always maintain peace, order, and unity within the community where he lives.

Need For National Identity

1. National Cohesion

When one identifies with his nation, it means that he loves his country and his people and will not like to involve himself in any act or omission that will threaten the unity and corporate existence of his nation.

2. Social Regulation

By identifying with the nation, citizens become law-abiding and avoid any act or omission that is capable of breaching public peace and order.

3. Defence And Security

The internal cohesion arising from national identity will make the people come together and form a formidable force against external aggression.

4. It will enhance good governance.

This is because people will support and give encouragement to their leaders and in turn, the leaders will be propelled to discharge their obligation to the citizens like provision of social amenities.

They will also be compelled by conscience to rule according to the law and have respect for the fundamental rights of the citizen.

5. It encourages development because mass mobilization of the people to carry out development projects will be easy.

6. It enhances the mass participation of the citizen in policies, which strengthens the democratic process.

Ways Of Preserving National Identity

nations of the world

National identity can be preserved in the following ways:

1. Good Governance

A genuinely democratic government that takes care of the welfare of the citizens will make the citizen say, “This is our country” and hence, preserve their national identity. An example is the United States Citizens.

2. Security Of Lives And Property

Where there is adequate security of lives and property, people will identify with the nation and hold the leadership of that nation in high esteem, but where there are political assassinations and killings here and there, looting of public funds, excessive armed robbery cases due to hunger and unemployment, religious riot, students unrest, civil disturbances and violence like in Nigeria, preservation of national identity becomes a difficult task as some people will not like to identify with that nation.

This is one of the causes of a Brain Drain problem in Nigeria where the best talents in sports and football, the medical profession, engineering, science, and technology have migrated to America, Europe, and Asia continents and acquired their citizenship after disagreeing with the power that is, at the capital city Abuja, and the renunciation of their Nigerian citizenship and national identity.

3. Development

When a nation is politically, economically, socially, and culturally developed, there will be the greatest happiness for the greatest number and national identity will be preserved.

4. Discipline In National Life

Discipline in national life will preserve national identity because, discipline in the society forms the foundation of peace, harmony, and progress of a people.

A disciplined society provides the correct atmosphere for development and prosperity.

A disciplined society finds it easy to obey rules and regulations without the use of force.