Expecting someone to be patriotic before they raise the flag is like expecting someone to be perfect before they go to church.
I was just reading some of the older posts and this one caught my attention. I don't know why I didn't comment on it when it first appeared but I'll do so now.
You seem to be saying one needs to fly a flag as an adult before one develops any patriotic feelings for this country. IOW, flying the flag comes first and patriotism second.
I became patriotic as a school child. I can't give you an exact date but it was certainly before I was a teenager. I think the daily recital of the Pledge of Allegiance (I'm not sure they do that any longer in this State) as well as learning some of the wonderful history of this country, and watching the space flight's as a child all played a part. My parent's were both very patriotic and I'm sure that played a big role.
Frankly, I don't know how one could grow up in this country and not be patriotic. If one is not patriotic by the time they reach voting age I would seriously question why the hell they even bother living here.
My case was similar to that of my schoolmates. We grew up during the Cold War, and although I had some odd classmates, I can't ever recall any student saying this was a lousy country and they wished they were living in the USSR, China, or anywhere else for that matter.
I flew my first flag when I bought a house after finishing college but I had already been very patriotic long before that flag went up.
Actually, I think you stated things in reverse. If an adult is not patriotic I seriously doubt he/she would ever erect a flag, or that the flag would help make him/her patriotic. It's the patriots who fly flags, not those who are undecided.