patriotism, as most people understand it (regardless of what the dictionary says it “means”) is, in my opinion, not a stance a follower of jesus can take.
it means, at its most basic, that one is aligning himself with an agency on earth, rather than with god’s kingdom, where jesus instructs his followers to make their homes and to put their trust.
i think most americans believe that it is simply self-evident that “america is the the most important nation in the history of the world”, and that it is somehow “blessed by god”.
regardless of our country’s fruit, we tend to hear, and absorb, and repeat the notion that we are a godly nation, a “christian nation”, and that our “way” is the best way.
clearly, however, jesus would say that the kingdom of god’s way is the best way, and that anything else is against god.
therefore, to pledge allegiance to anything other than the kingdom of god, for a follower of christ, is to, at the least, to just inherit beliefs from surroundings (to be OF the world).
instead, what ought to do is work them out through obedience to god and study of his word.
i won’t go so far as to say that patriotism is a “sin” — for there is wiggle room, to be sure.
but that’s my take on being “a patriot”.