Patriotism, is love for your country. Pride of its achievements, awareness of its faults, loyalty to the state and nation. But patriotism isn't fanatism. And never should be merged with it, neither by actions nor by beliefs.
I've never, not even ONCE, seen a patriot able to acknowledge the fact that their country is far from as great as they so blindly believe. Honestly, I think Oscar Wilde and Albert Einstein was right. "Patriotism is a virtue of the vicious." "Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind."
Maybe you met Patriots who were not mature in their patriotism. Its easily to believe your nation is great. Very easy. Ofcourse it takes a very very thick skin. But if you also notice faults of your nation, the bad sides and try not to represent them but strive to make yourself the better representative of your nation, then you're more mature Patriot than those who never acknowlede the faults and bad sides.
As an example i'll use my nation. We're good at improvising and rebuilding no matter the situation. (Good side) From time to time we can even unite against a common foe (Good and Bad at times ). However since the fall of communism we've got the totally twisted and bad impression about what freedom is. Therefore many of my natives abuse it. I admit that, we've wasted lots of things after we got rid of communism. I don't know if its proper example though. But on the contrary to immature patriots who would "tear up their own clothes" and yell that we're the greatest and everyone else is bad I had a bit of courage to say the least about our faults.
I get your point, sorta, but I honestly think patriotism is a wasted gesture and more often than not, a cheap excuse for hateful people to be vicious towards "outsiders". A lot of bad -ism's stem from patriotism. Nazism for instance. An -ism that dragged half the civilized world into war and killed millions of innocent people.
And that's just ONE instance of patriotism gone wrong.
You are right about bad stuff comming from the deformed understanding of patriotism, but this deformed understanding comes exactly from those not mature patriots. Nazism was indeed totally deformed, i'd say it was "Chauvinism" ( did i spell it right? ). And Chauvinism isn't really patriotism, just common hatred for anything different. Humanity is still few generations away from mature patriotism. I mean humanity in general. You can be patriot but need to know where are limits of it.