Quotes on patriotism

March 18, 2011 | By | 3 Replies More

A reader of this site, Mike Baker, provided me with a big stash of thoughtful quotes. Included in Mike’s offerings is this collection of quotes on “patriotism.”

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
~ Edward Abbey

The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?
~Pablo Casals

“My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.”
~ G. K. Chesterton (1874 – 1936)

“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.”
~ Clarence S. Darrow

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”
~ Albert Einstein

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
~ Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784), quoted in Boswell’s Life of Johnson

Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.
~ Guy de Maupassant

Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarrelled with him?
~ Blaise Pascal

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph:
~ Haile Selassie

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.
~ George Bernard Shaw

“My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its office-holders.” ~Mark Twain

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.
~ Voltaire

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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.

    ~ Rocky Anderson (Salt Lake City, 2006-08-30)

  2. Mike M. says:

    Excellent quotes, Erich. Thanks for posting this. I especially like the ones from Einstein and Pascal. I've thought about the concept of patriotism a lot, and have come to some realizations. There seems to be two main and distinct types- the Faux Patriot and the True Patriot. Statements you will often hear from Faux Patriots:

    1. "America is the greatest country in the world."

    2. "USA, USA, USA!" chants.

    3. "Support our troops!" (aka "the killing must continue!").

    4. "We must support the President."

    5. "God bless the United States of America."

    The True American Patriot loves this country, but in a more thoughtful and critical way. The True Patriot loves the land and the ideals this country was founded upon – Freedom, Equality, and a government by and for the people. A True Patriot is saddened and angered when the leaders of our country divert from these founding ideals, and when politicians create and support laws which oppose these ideals. To the dimwitted Faux Patriots, the True Patriots will appear as anti-american. But then again they are the dimwitted, and can always strike back by sticking another simple-minded ribbon on their car's bumper, put their hand over their heart during the National Anthem, and collectively shout "USA, USA!". It's the least they can do–literally, the least they can do.

  3. Mike Baker says:

    Well said Mike!

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