Well you answered the question by asking it! Being American is an ideal that we have a limited government and a HUGE fear of big government and dictators and royalty (power by birth not by leadership). By being critical of government we are being more American than if we blindly followed those in power!
The American flag has become a symbol of resistance against China in the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, prominently waved throughout the city this past weekend as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the peaceful crowds.
People love to accuse me of being a hypocrite or not American or worse not understanding what America stands for... Well if you understand the ideals we were founded on you will get a healthy distrust of government and leaders IS what America is all about! The idea that those in power are corrupt and AGAINST the people IS what America was founded on...
People like to say I critisize the US government too much and how can I possibly love America soo much for it.. WELL FYI THAT is the VERY REASON we love America! If I stop being suspicious of BIG GOVERNMENT and "LEADERS" then we fall from being FREE and become an enslaved nation! THAT is why we can LOVE America and still be the most vocal critics of it! THAT is what made our nation!
No one who is FREE actually has much trust for their government! ONLY slaves believe their leaders can do no wrong! Remember that! The American IDEAL is about FREEDOM not about who is in power! Power is HELD BY THE PEOPLE! That is a just REPUBLIC! God given rights are to be protected and the government is meant to only exist to ensure we are able to express and have those rights! The GOVERNMENT does NOT give you rights! We are BORN with rights! The government is supposed to be challenged and limited to ensure it can not strip us of those rights! THAT is why we can be super critical of government while still LOVING our nation! The United States of America was founded on very simple ideals that still hold true today, especially for those looking to free themselves from dictatorships (like China)!
Our flag does not have to represent THEIR nation, it represents an IDEA that PEOPLE hold rights and government does not! That government serves the interest of protecting the PEOPLE's rights NOT to hold power for the sake of power (dictators). FREEDOM is about expressing your god given rights and keeping the government out of your life! THAT is why people who are highly critical of the government can still love and praise the American flag (a Symbol that represents freedom and limited government and suspicion of those in power)!