Have you ever noticed how our nationalism, anyone's nationalism, for their country, seems strangely similar to religious-ness? And maybe, that is in some ways, bad?
We should have respect, for those have have fought and died, or sacrificed or died building this nation. We want to honor their sacrifice, or respect their efforts, but we need to be careful that we don't cross the border to worship. If you look at some nations, some very dry nations come to mind, aside from and along with, their tying nationalism with religiosity, you can easily see the danger in stepping into that area and way of thinking.
It becomes very easy to make a very conscious decision, to rationalize the need to kill people over that of your nation. To need to kill people. To kill to protect. To kill to protect the flag even.
Is the flag really, that important? Is the country even that important? Think? Really, aren't PEOPLE most important (yes, yes, dolphins, whales, trees, etc., etc., but first and foremost, shouldn't we be nice to people, our own kind (okay okay as well as other things, geez....)?
What will make YOU kill someone. What should someone actually kill for? Nationalism? The National Debt? Saving a life? Saving your own life, your spouse, parents, kids? Yeah, I know there is a big argument with some people about who comes first, spouse, or kids. I always thought kids, because, you know, a spouse is an adult and should be able to take care of themselves, but that was a big argument with my ex wife who thought the spouse comes first. Yeah, that's heartwarming, but its kind of an ancient, farm oriented mentality, save the spouse, you two can always produce more kids. Sheesh. That one broke up our marriage.
There may have been a time when you needed to kill others, even proactively, to protect your nation, your family, even, perhaps, you flag. But guess what, that time has pretty much gone the way of the dark ages.
If we need to damage someone now, its pretty easy to do with a credit card.
Would I fight and die for this country? Sure, I was in the military. I "get it". But at what point, would I not want, need, or think, I would need to kill people, for my country?
If we were invaded. Hell yeah! I'm out there going for it. If you are going to die anyway, die for a reason!
But, am I going to go look for people to kill? Uh, no. Probably not.
If I thought we had a real cause to, sure. But that is where it gets murky, and it doesn't help when you have leaders who muddy the waters with their own agendas. Especially, when those agendas are our, but they fail at the real purpose anyway.
Nationalism, is, and always has been, one of the most dangerous things in Human society. Second only to, and mostly aligned with, Religion.
Adhere to either of those concepts, consciously, rationally, and very, VERY carefully.