If we as parents teach our kids to love, honor, show compassion and respect for their country as well as for their fellow man, they will not only be graced by a sense of patriotism, they will become better citizens, and in turn role models for our future generations.
Such an odd attitude towards justice could be sarcastically named using Dickens's words: telescopic philanthropy 11 Within the argument of the nation's survival (and well-being) it seems unjustified to give priority of my co-nationals' luxurious preferences over the basic needs of the inhabitants of the LDCs.
Somehow I find myself more patriotic now than I was on the sidelines of a 4th of July parade as a kid, waving a flag at the police cars driving by. I think it's because now my patriotism truly is the respect, loyalty and love that Americans define it as. More specifically, respect, loyalty and love for my neighbors that also call the United States home, and less for empty symbolism.
It comes into limelight in time of war because it is a notion that makes more sense when there is an identifiable navy enemy and one is expected to withhold love from enemies if not downright hate them. As George Orwell wrote in his 1945 book Notes on Nationalism, patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally.