My Country Right or Wrong

| QUESTION
I am looking for the origin of or Chesterton reference to the idea that someone saying “My Country, right or wrong,” is like saying “My mother, drunk or sober.”

ANSWER
The line is from Chesterton’s first book of essays, The Defendant (1901) from the chapter, “A Defence of Patriotism”:

“‘My country, right or wrong,’ is a thing that no patriot would think of saying. It is like saying, ‘My mother, drunk or sober.'”

MENU