Mark Twain (c. 1835-1910)
“You see my kind of loyalty was to one’s country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death. To be loyal to rags, to shout for rags, to worship rags, to die for rags—that is a loyalty of unreason, it is pure animal…”
- From chapter 13 of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court (Published in 1889). The edition used here is by Bantam/Random House (1981, 2005).