Those are the words Samuel Johnson uttered on April 7, 1775, according to James Boswell:
Patriotism having become one of our topicks, Johnson suddenly uttered, in a strong determined tone, an apothegm, at which many will start: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”.
But let it be considered, that he did not mean a real and generous love of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak for self-interest.
On the National Mall tonight, thousands of flags represent those of us who won’t be able to attend the new president’s inauguration because of the pandemic. Fifty-six pillars of light represent the fifty states and six territories.