A wise thought in Nicholas Kristof's New York Times op-ed column a week ago:

Patriotism is not about words. It is not about waving flags or singing "America the Beautiful." It is about struggling, imperfectly and inadequately, to make this country we love a better one.

... and a few centuries ago, Edward Gibbon in Chapter 1 of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

That public virtue which among the ancients was denominated patriotism, is derived from a strong sense of our own interest in the preservation and prosperity of the free government of which we are members. Such a sentiment, which had rendered the legions of the republic almost invincible, could make but a very feeble impression on the mercenary servants of a despotic prince; and it became necessary to supply that defect by other motives, of a different, but not less forcible nature; honour and religion.

(cf Simultaneous Chess Matches (2004-03-15), ...) - ^z - 2020-01-14