quotations about patriotism

Patriotism quote

Patriotism is a thing of the heart. A man is a patriot if his heart beats true to his country.

CHARLES E. JEFFERSON, "Ethical Aspects of Conscription and the War"


Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

SAMUEL JOHNSON, Boswell's Life of Dr. Johnson


Tags: Samuel Johnson

What a strange development of patriotism that turns a thinking being into a loyal machine!

EMMA GOLDMAN, "Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty", Anarchism and Other Essays


Tags: Emma Goldman

Patriotism is a lively sense of collective responsibility. Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on its own dunghill and calling for larger spurs and brighter beaks.

RICHARD ALDINGTON, The Colonel's Daughter


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While patriotism is often lauded as an unquestionable value, the status of patriotism is a problem for many thoughtful people. It is particularly troublesome for people who care about the common good but are alienated by the all too frequent use of patriotism and patriotic symbols to stifle debate, tarnish the images of rival candidates, or arouse popular support for aggressive military policies.

STEPHEN NATHANSON, introduction, Patriotism, Morality, and Peace


The essence of patriotism is the sacrifice of personal interest to public welfare.

WILLIAM H. BURNHAM, New Outlook, vol. 90


We're being sold a brand new idea of patriotism. It never occurred to me that patriotism had to be advertised. Patriotism is something you deeply felt. You didn't have to wear it on your lapel or show it in your window or on a bumper sticker. That kind of patriotism does not appeal to me at all.

SAM SHEPARD, The Village Voice, November 12, 2004


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Patriotism is like religion--it is best when least ostentatious.

CHARLES E. JEFFERSON, "Ethical Aspects of Conscription and the War"


Patriotism is not the same as nationalism, because love of country is not the same as worship of country.

JOHN CHANDLER, "Do you know the difference between being an American and being a Christian?", Baptist News, March 31, 2016


Patriotism is one of the unalterable facts of man's nature. It is a virtue if you like it, and a vice if you don't like it.

MAX EASTMAN, "What Shall We Do With Patriotism?"


Patriotism is a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood and narrows the mind.

ANONYMOUS, often falsely attributed to Julius Caesar


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Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam,
His first, best country ever is, at home.



Tags: Oliver Goldsmith

Patriotism ... is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.

EMMA GOLDMAN, Anarchism and Other Essays


Tags: Emma Goldman

Patriotism is the admission that people who share a land, a place, and a history have a special obligation to that place and to each other.

DAVID EHRENFELD, Becoming Good Ancestors


Patriotism: Your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, The Public: A Journal of Democracy, 1910


Tags: George Bernard Shaw

Patriotism is proud of a country's virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country's virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, "the greatest," but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is.

SYDNEY J. HARRIS, Pieces of Eight


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The word patriotism, or its equivalents and derivations, is upon everyone's lips at the present time. It is a magic word which is thought by most people to cover any multitude of sins. To be patriotic in whatever cause is tantamount to being virtuous, while no worse charge can be brought against a man in popular estimation than to say he is unpatriotic.

ERNEST BELFORT BAX, Essays in Socialism


A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle: and patriotism is loyalty to that principle. In poetic minds and in popular enthusiasm this feeling becomes closely associated with the soil and the symbols of the country. But the secret sanctification of the soil and the symbol is the idea which they represent, and this idea the patriot worships through the name and the symbol, as a lover kisses with rapture the glove of his mistress and wears a lock of her hair upon his heart.

GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS, oration at Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., July 20, 1857


Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.

JOHN ADAMS, letter to Benjamin Rush, April 18, 1808


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Patriotism! It is used to define so many diversities, to justify so many wrongs, to compass so many ends, that its life is killed out; it becomes a dead word in the vocabulary--a blank counter, to be moved to any part of the game; and that flag which, streaming from the mast-head of our ship of state, striped with martyr-blood, and glistening with the stars of lofty promise, should always indicate our worldwide mission, and the glorious destinies that we carry forward, is bandied about in every selfish skirmish, and held up as the symbol of every political privateer.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words


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