As a word, patriotism is usually used to mean "loyalty to a country".

This term is usually used when there is some sort of crisis, like war, in which the government wants to elicit the cooperation and unity of the citizens of a country to make its work easier.

However, crises are not just limited to war and politicians, who are masters of emotional manipulation, use the word to force people to buy a narrative which is usually harmful to everyone within a country, a group of people within the country or to silence people with opposing views.

In that respect, patriotism becomes not loyalty to a country, but to a person. This is regardless of the size of the organisation forcing this cooperation, because there is usually one disproportionately powerful person driving the agenda and/or ideology of the organisation.

As a result, it is very important to ask, when told to be patriotic, to ask: To whom? For what? Why?