• 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 (1894). “On the principles and character of American institutions, and the duties of American citizens, 1856-1891”