Granted, the ideas of 'nationalism' and 'patriotism' are often confused. I'd toss in 'jingoism' if I thought it would help. But I think they might be tickled into describing different things, if enough people decide that the difference is worth paying attention to. I certainly do.
Consider the difference between 'country' and 'nation'. Anyone can move to the country, the early western explorers were certainly making their way across a country before any governments made any legal claims on that turf. So a country might be defined as a landscape with plants, animals, and people.
A Nation, on the other hand, has a (set of) shared language(s), a political system, and in the modern world, a system of police and/or soldiery to maintain "the peace". It's significant when various indian tribes make claims to nationhood, the 500 nations of north america, the 5 civilized nations of the The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole peoples. The nine nations of north america. We speak of an affinity to a territory or country, like what city do you like to live in. But when it comes to patriotism, it is (correctly, IMHO) defined as a feeling of affinity towards a nation rather than a country.
But now it starts to get a little strange. If people are going to invoke Ayn Rand and John Lennon, I'm going to pull out one of my personal heroes, Buckminster Fuller. He spoke of a loyalty to the largest system about which one can care. In the case of your garden variety psychopath, that's the individual. With many folks, it's their families. And while risky, self destructive behavior is frowned on in mental health circles, it's lauded with medals in the military, in the service of a nation. The question that lies begging is, Is there any system more significant than a nation? If there is not, then we can all go home early, and pledge alliegience to our flag and to the court-appointed president who wants us all to wave it. If there is, then we might find ourselves using tools like the internet to build such a system.
Even though he criticized multinationals whenever he could, Bucky was mostly ignored on that front, and I think much misunderstood. Another misunderstood hero of mine, who spoke at length about patriotism whenever he could, was Robert Heinlein. (Oh, god, I can see the eyes rolling already!)
In particular, I'm thinking of an essay in Expanded Universe on page 459 of the mass market edition, called The Pragmatics of Patriotism As jingoistic as many people asumed Admiral Bob to be, he also advocated putting all nuclear weapons in the hands of a UN-like global police force, believing (as I do) that no nation can be trusted with such things.
Fast forward to the present day: Must I wave 'Old Glory' in order to express my outrage and grief around the 9/11 attacks? Notwithstanding some video of dancing arabs, I am hearing reports from other countries and the huge emotional outpouring coming from those countries, even as 80 other nations were represented in the death toll. If they can grieve while maintaining their own citizenship, whay can't I maintain a larger sense of citizenship as well? This may not be a popular sentiment right now, but I will grieve without waving a flag. I mourn those who died not for their nationality, but for their humanity.
This is a dangerous, slippery slope, because if those people's deaths were significant beyond their citizenships, then so are the deaths of Iraqi civilians, the Bangladesh, Laotian, Chilean, Palistinian... etc. non-combatants that our tax dollars have gone towards killing. In many ways, it's easier to wave the flag, and assert that if our country wanted them dead, there must have been a good enough reason.
As long as I'm on this particular limb, I'll go out farther... The media has declared the spectacle over, and now it's time to get back into holiday shopping mode. Maybe I'm being unpatriotic, maybe my patriotism is to a larger system than the nation I was born into... but I just don't quite feel like going back into an overconsumptive lifestyle that makes this nation so envied and so hated in the rest of the world.
And if our court-appointed president were more interested in justice, he might be focusing on ways to get Bin Laden on trial at the Hague, rather than simply rubbing him out like a mob-style hit. But the similarities between gangs and governments is probably a topic best left for another day...
Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"