Patriotism, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name
In Dr. Johnson's dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due repect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.
2005 Update: The vigilant elevation and protection of a nation's most cherished, enlightened and durable moral convictions no matter the sacrifice required. Practiced equally by soldier, statesman and citizen. In the first case at great risk to life and limb, in the second by the renaming of side dishes and in the third by blogging.