- an expression of patriotism.
Frequently used either as an expression of jingoism (extreme patriotism), in the sense “I will stand by my country whether it be right or wrong”, or as a straw man to attack such patriotism as unthinking.
Originally Stephen Decatur, in an after-dinner toast of 1816–1820:
- “Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but right or wrong, our country!”
Later stated by, and often attributed to, Carl Schurz, 1872.
- “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”