It's refreshing to read much of the commentary in this thread because this is a grey issue which rarely gets treated as such. In my opinion, being ashamed of your country is as bad as being a knucklehead who believes your country has all the right answers.
I'm very proud of both Wales and Ireland. I think we do a lot of things very well and that we definitely punch well above our weight in a number of key areas. I would dearly love to see both fully independent and free and I am active in the struggle to gain this for both. In some other parts of the world I'd be in jail for that so that's certainly a positive, for me at least. Are we the greatest countries on Earth offering better opportunities than anywhere else? No. But then I don't believe such a country exists anywhere.
That said, both Wales and Ireland have their fair share of warts too. Racism, homophobia and other discriminations, although they perhaps don't make the news in the same way here as they do in other parts of the world, certainly exist. We are far too consumerist and individualist and looking after the poor comes far too far down the list of priorities here. Another issue is that whilst I'm a Republican (which means something very different here) and proudly so, that doesn't mean that I'm blind to certain atrocities which have been committed in the name of that cause both in Ireland and to a lesser extent Wales.
In my opinion, nationalism and patriotism are positive things. However, it depends on what kind of nationalism and patriotism. If you're a nationalist and a patriot in the vein of Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmett or James Connolly, that's one thing, if you're a patriot in the vein of Gemma O'Doherty (think a cheap and tacky version of Donald Trump) that's entirely another prospect. I would go so far as to say O'Doherty and her ilk are neither nationalist nor patriotic. If their version of things is truly the best they think their country deserves then they do it a disservice and are certainly of zero benefit.
In terms of military and veterans etc, being a Republican (Irish and Welsh) I would have a very different view. Put it this way, Ireland and Wales have been on the receiving end for the greatest part of their history so I would hope it's understandable why my opinion on this issue would be different. That said, I have an immense respect and admiration for those who laid down their lives for the causes of Irish and Welsh freedom so whilst I disagree, I can, perhaps with caution, understand.
Given that this is only my third post, I hope I haven't provoked anyone as that was certainly not my intention. I've tried to write what I've written respectfully but I was truly enthused to read much of the commentary here as this is an issue that has made the internet, forums and social media such toxic places so it is truly uplifting to read such balanced opinions as I've found here.