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There is a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and much less prevalent. One of the most frequently noted characteristics of great men who have remained great is loyalty to their subordinates. George S. Patton

Loyalty or allegiance is faithfulness or a devotion to a person or cause.

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There can be no divided allegiance here... We have room for but one flag. ~ Theodore Roosevelt


  • My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation's history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.
    • Edward Abbey, in Confessions of a Barbarian: Selections from the Journals of Edward Abbey, 1951-1989 (1994) p. 92


  • If your country needs you, you should be right there, that is the way I felt when I was young, and that's the way I feel today.
    • Frank Buckles, on service in the U.S. Army, as quoted in The Knoxville News.


  • What is loyalty? Nothing else that a great itch, with an absolute ban to scratch.
  • I grew up in Baltimore and that's why I root for the Orioles. I'm very suspicious of people who move and take on a new team. You should stick with the team of your youth all the way to your grave. That shows a sense of loyalty and devotion.
  • Loyalty is not an entitlement. It must be earned, both by leaders and by those who follow them. And even when loyalty has been earned, it must have limits. (Who among us can forget being asked by our chiding parents, "If your friend told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?" Every day we see misplaced loyalty contributing to problems such as bullying, hazing, sexual harassment, discrimination, and corruption. To be sure, it can be difficult to say no to someone in a position of power who is using loyalty as leverage, especially when that person makes it clear that they expect total and unconditional loyalty. But that's where loyalty must meet moral courage, if we are to act honorably and do what's right.
    • Martin Dempsey, No Time For Spectators: The Lessons That Mattered Most From West Point to the West Wing (2020), p. 92-93


  • I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
  • If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.
    • Elbert Hubbard, “Get Out or Get in Line,” Selected Writings of Elbert Hubbard, pp. 59–60 (1928)


  • The only way to keep people loyal is to make sure they fear you more than the enemy.
  • It is worthy of note that while in this the Government's hour of trial large numbers of those in the Army and Navy who have been favored with the offices have resigned and proved false to the hand which had pampered them, not one common soldier or common sailor is known to have deserted his flag. Great honor is due to those officers who remained true despite the example of their treacherous associates; but the greatest honor and most important fact of all is the unanimous firmness of the common soldiers and common sailors. To the last man, so far as known, they have successfully resisted the traitorous efforts of those whose commands but an hour before they obeyed as absolute law. This is the patriotic instinct of plain people. They understand without an argument that the destroying the Government which was made by Washington means no good to them.




  • The Joker: Freak? Why don't we cut you up into little pieces and feed you to your pooches, hmm? And then we'll see just how loyal a hungry dog REALLY is!


  • There is a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and much less prevalent. One of the most frequently noted characteristics of great men who have remained great is loyalty to their subordinates.
    • George S. Patton War As I Knew It (1947); also quoted in Patton's One-Minute Messages: Tactical Leadership Skills for Business Management (1995) by Charles M. Province, p. 88
  • These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered.


  • The immigrant who comes here in good faith, becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn't doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality... We have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.


  • A time-honored concept of Anglo-Saxon justice declares that a man is innocent until proven guilty. I believe that in a democratic society a man is similarly loyal until proven disloyal. No testaments of faith, no protestations of affection for his native load, and no amount of signatures will prove a bloody thing—one way or the other as to a man’s patriotism or lack thereof. The concept of the loyalty oath is a new one in the United States—in its present form it dates back less than twenty years. It’s been around for a number of decades in different countries under decidedly different forms of government. It was a requirement in Nazi Germany and in Fascist Italy, and is currently a prerequisite for the status of citizenship in the Soviet Union.
    Under dictators, the so-called loyalty oath is a necessary adjunct to a relationship between man and his government. Both the Fascists and the Communists have a pathological distrust of their own people. To require a signature under an oath of allegiance seems to me or presume guilt and an attendant disloyalty. I simply can’t honor that kind of premise—and I won’t honor it. And it’s for that reason that I did not sign the oath required of me to speak here for pay. But parenthetically it might be noted that if indeed, I were hell bent to subvert the government of the United States, I would certainly have no qualms about signing anything.
  • All that comes from bribes or injustice will be wiped out, but loyalty remains forever.


  • Loyalty's first, all the bullshit second.
  • The people, my people, are so smart, and you know what they say about my people? The polls. They say I have the most loyal people — did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters.
  • At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.
  • To put it in rude, plain, unpalatable words — true patriotism, real patriotism: loyalty not to a Family and a Fiction, but a loyalty to the Nation itself!
    • Mark Twain, (1905), included in Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1891-1910 (1992) ed. Louis J. Budd


  • If we know what direction the scales of society are tilted we must do what we can to add weight to the lighter side. ... We must be always ready to change sides like Justice—that fugitive from the camp of conquerors.

See also

  • Encyclopedic article on Loyalty on Wikipedia
  • The dictionary definition of loyalty on Wiktionary

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