I felt that this quote helped put into perspective so much of the blatant hypocrisy and arrogance surrounding this false measure of patriotism, usually worn on the sleeves of prominent politicians and millionaire conservative commentators.
They will try to define what patriotism is, which usually amounts to outward displays of love of country via symbols and expressions of love of country.
If people paid attention, they would realize that the glaring contradictions between what these people say (and profit from) and what these people do, the actions that hurt so many Americans, just do not add up. They claim a love of country, but the only thing that they seem to value about this country is the opportunity for them to make tons of money.
To this end, they are willing to send American troops to an unjustified war based on a fabricated reasons, but they are not willing to pay those troops for medical expenses when they get back, and slash veteran's benefits. They endlessly praise the freedom and liberty that the nation represents, but undermine that freedom and liberty in their actions, as evidenced by the squelched criticism of the Iraq invasion, and how anyone opposed to that war either sided with the terrorists, or otherwise was not considered a real American. They promoted the PATRIOT Act, which was anti-democratic in nature, and were going to try to pass the PATRIOT Act II, which went even farther, granting the government the power to revoke the benefits of citizenship to people that they felt had gone too far in their criticism of government. Now, that is outright flirting with dictatorial powers and so clearly against freedom of expression and speech and thought, that it is almost laughable, if it were not so pathetic.
Granted, it did not pass, and thankfully, any other of their desires have not come to pass....yet.
But be aware that they continue to try to get their way every single day, and the real patriots among us need to keep this in mind and stand and fight to keep the best of what this country offers intact.
In any case, here is the quote that I was mentioning earlier:
“I am amazed that Congressmen can pass a bill imposing severe penalties on anyone who burns the American flag, whereas they are responsible for burning that for which the flag stands.”
~ Alan Watts