“When a whole nation is roaring patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart.”--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Of course, I have always liked Ambrose Bierce's definitions from the Devil's Dictionary:
One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to those of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.
Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.
In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.