Nationalist group (not large) kept in touch (7)
I believe the answer is:
Here is my best explanation:
'nationalist' is the definition.
('patriot' can be a synonym of 'nationalist')
'group not large kept in touch' is the wordplay.
'group not large' becomes 'trio' (term for a small group).
'kept in' indicates putting letters inside.
'touch' becomes 'pat' (pat is a kind of touch).
'trio' put within 'pat' is 'PATRIOT'.
(Other definitions for patriot that I've seen before include "Country lover", "Loyalist", "Defender of country", "Nationalist", "One who loves his or her country", "New England sportsman", "A lover of fatherland", "Devotee of their country", "Country-lover" and "Loyal citizen".)