Patriotism’s a small quiet pride
that flowers somewhere deep inside:
growing from knowing that victims of war
might look to seek shelter on your friendly shore.
It’s looking around and seeing the good
and wishing the whole of humanity could
be as blessed as you have been.
It needs no lies
no spin machine.
It doesn’t drown dissenters out.
It sees no need to scream or shout.
It isn’t angry, forced, or taught.
exactly as it ought.
It grows from love
and loves inclusion.
to clear up
If the thing you’re fussed about is keeping other people out;
If you’re cross and lose your rag when someone doesn’t fly your flag;
If national fervour becomes competition
and jeering at others is some kind of mission;
If yours is an exclusive clique, which denigrates the poor or weak;
If you’re obsessed with symbolism –
You’ve named it wrong.
You’ve done fascism.