Here are a number of key quotes from George Washington, America's first president.
"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
"When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen."
"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company."
"From this resolution I have in no instance departed; and being still under the impressions which produced it, I must decline as inapplicable to myself any share in the personal emoluments which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the executive department, and must accordingly pray that the pecuniary estimates for the station in which I am placed may during my continuance in it be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require."
"Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be." - From the Proclamation of National Thanksgiving
"...(I)t is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness....indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our Country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts."
"The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations."
"My ardent desire is, and my aim has been, to comply strictly with all our engagements, foreign and domestic; but to keep the United States free from political connections with every other country, to see them independent of all and under the influence of none."