I've always been somewhat out of step with my friends on the left, who seem to think patriotism is the same as nationalism. That flag-wavers are by definition conservative. (Why should they coopt all the symbols, damnit?)
When I say I am grateful to live here, they call the U.S. a shit country. When I encourage people to see the USA, they buy tickets to Europe. My father would almost certainly have been murdered if he hadn't managed to get here ~ how can I feel anything but gratitude? The U.S. takes in far & away the largest number of immigrants of any country. Why do so many people from so many places make such an effort to be here? Despite our problems (yes, of course I see them: a patriot isn't a fool), I believe in our democracy, in our human bonds, in our natural beauty, in our willingness to change, in our efforts to right things (too slowly, too timidly, too little but we try).
The reason they speak with such disdain, I think, is because their familial and individual education & wealth, provides them with the kind of privilege that always seems to blind people to their advantages, in this case making it possible for them to imagine emigrating to places most refugees & migrants can only dream of. That's the only reason they think they can do better, because they don't need America the way most of the world does.
This is the start of a discussion, I would say. Putting it out there so I can keep thinking.