Patriotism is dampened by disenfranchisement.
The US has never lived up to the ideal of equality and freedom for all.
US history began with slavery, genocide (of native tribes), and continues to oppress LGBTQI people to this day and even continues to pay women less.
In the US: it is perfectly legal to deny health care, housing, employment or service to an LGBTQI person.
In the US it is still legal to pay women less.
So as most Americans celebrate the birth of the US nation: for some of us it is a bittersweet celebration for the US flag does not even pretend to represent those of us who are outcast by virtue of being LGBTQI or women.
The only flag that truly represents all people is the rainbow flag for it stands for diversity, that is the flag that I stand for. That is what I am proud of. I want to celebrate the US for there are many things to love but there are still reservations and limitations to that sentiment.
The US is a good place to live, but could be a great one. At present our government is corrupt and politicians work for the highest bidder instead of their constituents. This will not be fixed while we continue to elect politicians and parties who accept corporate campaign contributions and break the 2 party duopoly. The US provides the illusion of choice, but in reality it is government by and for the highest bidder which is always the 1% and/or corporate lobby.
America: you wave your flags but weaken the nation with discriminatory policies that reduce nationalism amongst the oppressed groups. We cannot oppress ethnic or religious minorities and be surprised when they are not waving flags alongside us. We cannot demonize immigrants and be surprised when they retain some national pride and loyalty to their home nation. If you want to make America strong and great: it must be united for the divided states of America are not going to be nearly as successful. We are made great by who we include, not who we exclude. Give me a reason to be patriotic and I will; but I cannot and will not pretend that the injustice is fair or worth supporting. Rainbow flags for me please.