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"Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but still our country, right or wrong."
Stephen Decatur

"My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right."
Carl Schurz

The character is a noble, or at least decent, soldier, who doesn't like the policies of their nation, but fight for it anyway. This person is loyal to their country, not its leader. Exactly how noble or decent someone can be while helping their nation do questionable deeds because it is "their duty" varies depending on the specific character and their actions. Moral Dissonance is something anyone can have and evil leaders are very good at exploiting patriotism. One does often wonder why someone so honorable fights for the evil side rather than deserting. At worst, this sort of thing can lead to the "I was just following orders" defense.

The title is a common variation from a quote from American naval commander Stephen Decatur, as seen above. Later, American Senator Carl Schurz gave his own interpretation: "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right."

Compare My Master, Right or Wrong, Lawful Stupid, Just Following Orders. Please do not confuse with Country Matters, which is about something else entirely.

No real life examples, please; the nature of patriotism, and indeed the question of whether patriotism in any form is desirable, is a YMMV Trope, and we don't need the Edit Wars.

Examples of My Country, Right or Wrong include:

Anime & Manga

  • Most of the cast of Fullmetal Alchemist are soldiers of the evil Amestris. The average soldier only cares about fighting for their country and the good of the people, it just so happens that it involves the occasional massacre. Roy Mustang's entire storyline is about his plan to overthrow Fuehrer King Bradley, who, like the Gundam example below, is based off of Hitler. Roy can then become the new leader so he can bring peace to Amestris.
  • A few of the Zeon from Mobile Suit Gundam are portrayed as this. It just so happens that Gihren Zabi is based off of Hitler.
    • Many characters from various Gundam series are examples, though countries seldom matter and it's often loyalty to other institutions, e.g. Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has Sergei Smirnov, who dislikes actions such as the HRL's Supersoldier project or the world government's A-Law's actions, but he stays loyal to them.
  • It's a given, considering the series, but several countries in Axis Powers Hetalia are portrayed as this, epecially WWII Germany, who expresses open disgust at some of the orders he's been given, but has to follow them anyway.
  • The Britannians in Code Geass, even if their rulers oppress others and promote racial supremacy.
    • Also, Suzaku, who fights for the lawful authority of a region, even if it he obtained that authority by brutally conquering his own country.
  • Bunchuu, from Houshin Engi.
  • Gajeel of Fairy Tail is this, which is what makes the members of Fairy Tail eventually accept him after the events of the Phantom Lord Arc. It should be noted that Gajeel is also majorly Ax Crazy, which translates to something like having a really mean guard dog that will do everything possible to protect it's owner.
  • Bleach: Byakuya Kuchiki sided with the law when his sister Rukia was arrested and scheduled for execution. Despite disagreeing with the situation, he was bound by his social position, his military position and a promise he had once made. As an aristocratic role-model for society in general, he was trapped by the fact that he could not expect others to uphold the law if he broken the law whenever it personally inconvenienced him. As a captain in the Gotei 13, he was expected to obey the orders of the Central 46 without question or hesitation. And, in his past, after having thrown his family into chaos by breaking the rules to both marry a commoner and then honour her deathbed request to adopt and protect her sister (Rukia) as his own, he made a promise to his parents' tomb that he would never break the rules again. Rukia's execution forced him to choose between those two conflicting vows but the sheer weight behind the vow to uphold the law meant that was the vow he had to choose no matter what his personal feelings may have been about it.
    • Yamamoto was also this. Ukitake was Rukia's captain and determined to protect her no matter what and Kyouraku found the whole situation suspicious and wanted to halt the execution until it could be investigated. Both captains broke the law by refusing to uphold the decision of the Central 46 without question and sealing the execution weapon to ensure Rukia couldn't be executed. Yamamoto, incensed by their betrayal and making exactly the same argument Byakuya had made to Ichigo (that society takes precedence over the personal), proceeded to engage them in a fight that would have been to the death had the truth about Rukia's execution not come out in an extremely timely fashion. His personal opinion on the matter of Rukia's execution is never revealed, to him, it didn't matter if it was right or wrong. Upholding one's duty was the only 'right' he was interested in.
  • Naruto: Danzo lives this trope. His catchphrase could be 'for the good of Konoha.'
    • Uchiha Itachi as well. Even in death he is loyal to Konoha. Most of his plans were devoted to imparting this mindset on his brother Sasuke as well. Things didn't exactly turn out that way.

Comic Books

  • Gladiator, of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard from X-Men, has explicitly stated that his loyalty is to the Throne, regardless of who's holding it (ultimately, he turned out to be very right to support Deathbird: she turned out to be a very capable majestrix. The mad emperor D'Ken, on the other hand...), going as far as serving Vulcan while showing distaste for having to fight Lilandra.
    • As of the War of Kings event, Gladiator is the one holding the Throne.
  • Eric Finch, Chief of New Scotland Yard in the V for Vendetta graphic novel. Helping to keep his country afloat in its hour of need, he tells the Big Bad his disdain for the fascist Norsefire Coalition right to the man's face. The Leader replies that it's a measure of his respect for Finch's craft that he's still alive to say that. In the end, Finch decides that upholding such a regime isn't worth the price.
  • Former Captain America (comics) USAgent (as opposed to the actual Captain, whose duty is not to whoever is elected to lead America, or the organisations formed by America, but the ideals of America), and also the Iron Cross, who fought for Germany in WWII for precisely these reasons.
  • Hans von Hammer, protagonist of DC's Enemy Ace feature and WWI pilot for Germany, especially in Garth Ennis' War In Heaven (WWII) version. However, when he discovered the Nazi death camps of the Final Solution in the final days of the war, that was the last straw for him and he led a mutiny with his unit.
  • Subvert in the Dave Gibbons/Will Simpson re-imagining of 2000AD series, Rogue Trooper. The Genetic Infantry are shown to be an elite band of highly-motivated, unshakable soldiers, but they show no interest in the cause which they serve. Their motivation is drawn from genetic and psychology conditioning and a fierce bond of brotherhood.
  • One version of The Unknown Soldier, a bandaged character from DC Comics. The long-lived soldier snapped upon seeing a Nazi concentration camp. He decided that since the USA fought against something this horrible, whatever they fight against is the right thing to oppose.
  • This is what happened to the character of Superman in The Dark Knight Returns, though that was not in canon, where he's frequently refused to do favors for the U.S. government if he feels they are wrong, especially when Lex Luthor was President. His attitude towards the city of Metropolis however, is closer to this trope.
    • Superman doesn't believe in My Country, Right or Wrong when it comes to governments, he will usually follow the wishes of the American people, even if he doesn't agree with them. For example, in the "Public Enemies arc of Superman/Batman, he says:

The world will never know how I struggled with the decision to stay out of the electorial process. Should I have gone on television and told the voters not to elect this man? And what then? If I use my influence — my character and my reputation — to tell people how to vote, what does that make me? I choose to fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way. And for all it's flaws, American democracy does work... The United States doesn't need me to dictate, or worse, deprive her people of that most precious gift. The freedom of choice. Even when I knew in my heart that choice was wrong.


Clerk: Citizenship?
Man: Put "contradictory"...



  • Seen in Das Boot, where the submariners, except for the 1st Lieutenant, disliked the Nazis and were just doing their job. Arguably necessary for the audience to be able to sympathize with people fighting for Nazi Germany, and to some extent Truth in Television, as many in the Kriegsmarine resented the fact that the Nazi hierarchy paid more attention to their army and air force. (A purported but plausible quote from the Führer in real life: "I've got a Nazi air force, a conservative army and a communist navy.")
  • Heroic/noble German soldiers in movies about World War II. One is inclined to think from all of them that there were no such thing in WWII as German soldiers who were both heroic/noble and actually fond of Hitler:
  • Centauri 7's attitude in Hunter Prey.


  • Anton, the hero of Summer of my German Soldier.
  • Several of the more sympathetic Havenite characters in the Honor Harrington stories qualify, especially before the second Enemy Civil War. A couple did switch sides but most just tried to stick it out - and some did manage to make improvements in their own countries by doing so. As time has gone on and the government changed, Haven is no longer an obvious "bad guy".
    • Indeed, Cachat's The Plan in "Fanatic" depended on the majority of the Havenite officers and enlisted being decent people, including many of the State Sec officers (consider that State Sec is normally presented as Lawful Evil, and only mildly lawful at that). Of course, a man in Cachat's position would be in a position to guess which way those particular State Sec officers would move.
    • Another Havenite example was Amos Parnell, the former head of their space navy. Thought executed, he was discovered and rescued from a prison planet, and despite having every reason to utterly hate the current government of Haven, refused to provide intelligence that would directly assist the Manticorans in battle against Havenite forces. However, he does testify about the coup and helps destroy the new government's prestige.

Admiral Parnell: Still, I suppose a little of that same idealism still clings to me, too. What an amazing thing. Forty years of naval service, dozens of cold-blooded campaigns under my belt - hell, I'm the one who drew up the plans to begin this war! I screwed them up, of course, but I was damned straight the one who authorized 'em. And eight more years here on Hell, on top of all that. And still there's something down inside me that insists the drunk-rolling whore I served is a great, shining lady who deserves to have me lay down my life in her defense.

      • In contrast, he convinces the much younger and more idealistic Havenite officer Warner Caslet to defect. When Caslet attempts to invoke this trope, Parnell shuts him down. "Son, you don't have a country anymore." Consider that recent circumstances outside his control had pretty much guaranteed that Caslet would be executed or disappeared if he returned to Havenite territory.
    • Thomas Theisman articulates this thought several times when considering Alfredo Yu, his own mentor who defected, and Warner Caslet, one of his subordinates whom he considers an honest, integral man who wanted nothing more than to defend his nation and was driven into defection. Theisman understands and empathises with them both, while still deciding that he cannot follow in their footsteps because he is loyal to the Republic, if not to its leadership. Theisman himself, however, is someone who takes the full Schulz quote as his motto, including the part about "if wrong, to be set right." At the end of Book 9, he shoots Citizen Chairman Saint-Just and restores the old Republic.
  • Many imperials in the Star Wars universe use varying degrees of this trope. Some desert right away after Battle of Endor. Others remain loyal until the interim government implodes. Some defect or desert after they become sickened by their commanding officers or realize that the Empire has lost unity.
    • Pellaeon remains loyal to the person who has the most legal claim to the government and later commands the Remnant. However, as time goes on he realizes that the Remnant must change it's racist policies to survive.
  • Günter Bischoff, the U-Boat captain in Cryptonomicon starts off like this (he's definitely not a Nazi), but ends up just looking for a way out of the whole thing.
  • Oberst Kurt Steiner from The Eagle Has Landed. He actually risked his life trying to save a Jewish girl from death. He is then court-martialed, along with a platoon of his men. They are then given the job of kidnapping Churchill. One of them rescues a local girl from a water wheel and is killed in the process. So it is obvious that they are good guys, yet they still fight for Nazi Germany. In an aversion, it is hinted that Steiner hesitates when he has a chance to shoot Churchill because he knows it is wrong, and is himself then shot and apparently killed.
  • Soldier X might fit here. The main character talks about how, as a teacher, the new students always stare at him because he is missing an arm. When they inevitably ask about it, he reveals that he lost it in WWII and someone always comments "it had to be done". However, the main character was a conscript in the Wehrmacht (although it is a little more complicated...).
  • In The Three Musketeers, Rochefort is depicted as an honourable opponent of the eponymous musketeers. Although, there, it's more a case of "My Boss (Cardinal Richelieu), Right or Wrong", as both he and the musketeers are loyal to France.
  • In Monstrous Regiment, this is the attitude that Corporal Strappi preaches. Sergeant Jackrum also follows this, but at the end, retires to find out, as he put it, "what I've been fighting for" his entire life.
  • Eric von Shrakenberg of The Draka takes this trope to a whole new level, given that the country he is fighting for is the Domination of Draka, which makes Nazi Germany look tame by comparison. Although he views the Draka ideology and society as a cultural dead-end, he is arguably the single most important individual in Draka history, playing a key role in both the Eurasian War and The Final War.
  • In Ruled Britannia, an Alternate History novel where the Spanish Armada succeeded and occupied England, William Shakespeare (Yes, the William Shakespeare) admits that, if given a choice, he probably would chose to follow the Roman Catholic traditions of Spain as opposed to the Protestant teachings of England, but he refuses to let these traditions be forced onto the country at gunpoint. Thusly, he helps launch the rebellion that topples the government of Queen Isabella and frees the imprisoned Queen Elizabeth, even if that means he will need to become a Protestant again, because, at least then, it would be by England's choice.
  • A minor recurring theme in the 1632 series, as we repeatedly see people from "enemy" nations who recognize based on the foresight/hindsight provided by reading the uptime history books that their countries are in the wrong at LEAST practically if not morally (such as upholding serfdom), but serve their country regardless even when rulers fail to recognize the warnings.

Live-Action TV

  • Bryce from Max Headroom is loyal to the TV company Network XXIII, to the point of trying to kill Edison Carter in the first episode. But Bryce is doing it only because it was ordered of him, and he bears no genuine malice. He just wants to play with computers.
    • This is only true of Bryce in the American version, however; in the original British Made-for-TV movie, Bryce is not only wholly unsympathetic, but killing Carter is his idea in the first place.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series has the Romulan ship captain in "Balance of Terror" and the Klingon captain Kang in "Day of the Dove".
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, this trope is Gul Dukat's explanation for switching his allegiance to the new, democratic Cardassian government in an earlier season. The fact that this quasi-Heel Face Turn took place shortly after it became obvious that the old regime was going to lose is purely coincidental.
  • A variation of this is spoken of by Jonathan Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise in the Mirror Universe episode "In a Mirror, Darkly", where he claims that Starfleet officers are loyal to the Terran Emperor, not the person currently occupying the throne. All one has to do is to successfully overthrow the government and name oneself Emperor, and the military will support him or her.
  • In the Babylon 5 episode "Endgame", General Lefcourt leads the ships loyal to the Clark regime. As he puts it, "I'm from the old school: a soldier doesn't take up arms against his own government, no matter how justified you feel doing it." That said, when President Clark sets up Earth's defense grid to scorch the planet rather than let Sheridan win, Lefcourt destroys the last orbital defense platform that Sheridan's fleet couldn't reach. Of course, he only did so after Clark was dead, and thus no longer President; given Luchenko's rise to Presidency, presumably Earthgov has an analogue of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. It turns out that many members of Earthforce had that same mindset, including Babylon 5's later CO, Captain Elizabeth Lochley. [1], [2]
    • Lefcourt's mindset does invite the question whether he would have followed an immoral order and allowed the orbital defense grid to kill millions of people. The real-life section of Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right has an example where the Prussian officer was expected to violate an order.
    • Many officers refused to obey immoral orders during the Earth Alliance Civil War. [3], [4], [5], [6]
  • On Highlander the Series, Duncan fought for the North in the Civil War. He met another immortal who fought for the South. He said that the other immortal was on the wrong side; the other immortal acknowledged that he was, but said that he had made ties with his neighbors and friends and didn't feel like he could turn away from them.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Doomsday", Yvonne Hartman (leader of Torchwood in 2007) did her duty "for queen and country" even after being upgraded to a Cyberman.
  • Rankol in the 2007 Flash Gordon, who explains to Princess Aura, before his apparent Heel Face Turn, that his loyalty is to the ruler of Mongo - whomever that may be.
  • In a very early Mission: Impossible episode, "The Reluctant Dragon," the main villian, played marvelously by character actor John Colicos, is well aware of the evils of his country's oppressive policies, but carries on as Security Minister because he's loyal to his country, and insulates himself in cultural pursuits. It's not hard to imagine that things would be much worse with someone else in his place, and he ends up being probably the most sympathetic villian in the series' history; as he lies shot at the end, he even generates a degree of compassion and respect from Rollin, who takes time to help staunch the bleeding before making his escape.



I hear you say the truth must take a beating
The flag a camouflage for your deceiving [...]
And did I hear you say:
My country right or wrong
My country oh so strong
My country going wrong

    • As do Levellers in a few of theirs, most interestingly, in England My Home

Oh, what happened to
My green and pleasant land?

    • German punk band Die Toten Hosen's "Tausend gute Gründe" lists "a thousand good reasons to be proud of this country" only to admit that at the moment, they can't actually come up with a single one.

Tabletop Games

  • A common depiction of the Imperial Guard in Warhammer 40,000 has very strong tones of this, especially when they're the antagonists. Otherwise, they actually believe what they're doing is right in itself.


  • Anatoly Sergievsky of Chess, a rather timid and awkward man hounded by the press as to why he still supports his country of Soviet Russia. He proceeds to sing "Anthem":

Anatoly: When no flags flew, when no armies stood, my land was born. And you ask me why I love her? Through wars, death, and despair? She is the constant we who don't care. And you wonder why I leave her? But how? I cross over borders but I'm still there now. Let man's petty nations tear themselves apart! My land's only borders lie around my heart!


Video Games

  • Most of the Covenant in Halo.
  • The Fire Emblem series in general does it too many times to count (although, in most cases, a childhood friend or relative will be able to convince them to defect).
    • Camus the Sable from Shadow Dragon is somewhat tragic as he was a kind-hearted and brilliant man but valued his country above all else. Technically, it is possible not to kill him in FE11 but it is very hard and you miss out on a powerful weapon. Luckily, he is back and recruitable in the 3rd game.
    • Eltosian (or Eltshan) in FE4 was king of Nodion, best friends with Sigurd and Cuan, and the brother of Princess Lachesis, who fought because Agustrian usurper King Shagaal threatened to smear mud on his name. And if you don't fight him and, instead, get Lachesis the Earth Sword, Eltosian will still be executed by Shagaal and the Cross Knights will continue to battle you.
    • In FE6, Miledy's lover Gale is a Wyvern Lord (and subsequent Dragon General) whose allegiance belongs to King Zephiel and General Murdock, while Miledy fights for Zephiel's half-sister Guinevere, who is on a different side of the conflict. Gale tells her that he cannot be with her, despite spending so much time together. He also tells Miledy's brother Zeiss that, no matter what, they must fight. What makes it worse is that Gale is considered dead even if you don't kill him.
    • Another FE6 example is Brenya, who is portrayed much like Selena would later be. Despite King Zephiel's death in the last chapter, she still carries out his orders, even if it means death. Even after being told that surrender is an option, she won't take it.
    • And again in FE6 is the Etrurian Generals, especially Douglas, since he downright refuses to join you even if you talk to him with General Cecilia, General Percival, Vice-General Klein, AND his adopted daughter Lalam/his liege Prince Mildain (Elphin). He only joins you later when Etruria officially accepts your army, AKA when you defeat the chapter with Douglas still alive, allowing you access to 16x.
    • Vaida in FE7 was a noble soldier and former Dragon General of Bern who was forced to desert along with her subordinate Heath, because her group attempted to murder innocent civilians for grandeur and promotion. She was recruited in the Shrine of Seals battle so as to keep loyal to her liege, Prince Zephiel.
    • General Eagler from Lyn's Tale. Especially tragic case because, if Sain and Kent (and a civilian in a nearby house) are to be believed, he might have been forced to fight by having his family taken into custody by Lundgren.
    • Selena in the 8th game, who the game makes entirely sympathetic and still cannot be convinced to defect.
    • And Glen, also in the 8th game, who might have pulled a Heel Face Turn, had Valter not killed him.
    • The 9th game actually hangs a lampshade on this when Ashnard tells Bryce, his last Supreme Commander remaining (Rider of Daein), that yes, he is a complete bastard (the specifics are technically spoilers, but everyone who played at least halfway through can probably figure them out). Bryce is appalled at what Ashnard says but is still loyal enough to go out to die, and Ashnard breaks out into a fit of laughing and chivalry-mocking.
    • General Levail of Begnion can be seen in a similar situation as Bryce: he knows of how corrupt the Begnion Senate is (he was the commander of Vice-Minister Lekain's personal army) and wishes that it isn't so, but he still fights you out of loyalty to Zelgius, AKA the Black Knight.
    • Zelgius in FE10 may count. Zelgius is loyal to the Begnion Senate only because he's loyal to Sephiran, who wants him to help incite a war that will swallowing the world, which is the same reason the Black Knight served Daein.
    • Micaiah fits this trope perfectly in Radiant Dawn. She is willing to side with the Begnion Senate in fighting the Laguz alliance - despite the fact that she just led the charge to free Daein from Begnion control, that her home country needs to rebuild, and that she harbors no resentment toward the laguz - all because Daein's spineless Prince Pelleas told her to. It turns out, Pelleas has to obey the Senate, as he was tricked into signing a blood pact.
    • FE10 plays with this trope with Jill and Zihark most especially; averted in FE9, played straight at the beginning of FE10, and then it depends on whether the player recruits them or not. It gets to the point where they're willing to betray their friends and principles just for their country, which is plainly in the wrong.
  • System Shock 2 includes the Von Braun, an experimental faster-than-light starship. Without giving away any spoilers, let's just say it could be that the game creators meant it as an ironic name rather than an honor.
  • While not a soldier in anyway, the character Nathan from Fallout 3 believes all the Enclave (former US government) propaganda he hears and seems adverse to questioning the government in general if you talk to him about it. It can be entertaining to argue with him using examples from the US Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights; he'll eventually cut off the discussion for the explicit reason that you might convince him. Ultimately, though, he may warn you, if still alive later, to get away from the Enclave before they catch you, as he was in the Raven Rock base.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, Veronica is loyal to the Brotherhood of Steel, despite believing that they will slowly die out if they don't change their isolationist and xenophobic ways. At the end of her personal quest, she'll either choose to stay with them or leave them, where she will see just how fanatical they can be when it comes to those with progressive thoughts. The current Elder, Nolan McNamara, has similar beliefs, but is hindered by his fear of the NCR and an unwillingness to go against tradition and commit outright heresy.
    • Similarly, we have Craig Boone, former NCR Sniper. Despite his disagreement with certain actions, like the Bitter Springs massacre, he is still a strong supporter of them, and will outright refuse to come with you if you get on their bad side.
  • Despite attempting to invade half a dozen countries at once to expand its borders and avoid an economic crisis, Belka in Ace Combat Zero had corps of extremely loyal pilots proud of their own nation. In an interesting game concept, there are cutscenes of interviews of the Belkan pilots the player fought, depicting them as obviously likable men ten years after the war.
    • Probably helped by how Belka detonated 7 nuclear weapons on their own country late in the war. But the pilots explicitly state that they hold no animosity towards their enemies, during and after the war. It was just war, and it was just what they were trained to do. In fact, many of them revere Cipher, the player character, in a decidedly odd twist. One character even states that Cipher is comparable to the old orders of Belkan Knights, an honor that he doesn't even give himself.
    • And Ace Combat 5 provides a subversion in that one of the Belkan pilots (one of their top aces in fact) takes an opportunity to defect after said nuclear explosions.
  • This is why General Leo of Final Fantasy VI is a Worthy Opponent rather than on your side. Even when he turns on Kefka, he's basically just attempting to remove a piece of rot from the good name of The Empire, resulting in an awesomely tragic Heroic BSOD when Kefka reveals that he's acting on the orders of the Emperor, and Leo's fate is sealed by his inherent goodness. Poor bastard.
  • In the beginning of Final Fantasy IV, Cecil (the main protagonist) is basically the same as Leo above. After a particularly horrible mission given by his king, he becomes The Atoner instead, kickstarting the plot.
  • General Morgahn in Guild Wars. He is shown from the beginning to be an honorable officer who is also a loyal subordinate and friend of Varesh Ossa (for instance, he defends the Warmarshal at the joint tribunal following the mission in which the player discovers conclusive evidence of Varesh's villainy), though, as the Nightfall campaign proceeds, he expresses increasing concerns and doubts about Varesh's actions and finally defects to the player's side after Varesh's Moral Event Horizon crossing - massacring the priests of his patron goddess, Lyssa.
  • Harpuia of Mega Man Zero is a good example. A good character (or neutral at worst) in a Lawful Evil government, He legitimately seeks to protect humans. Too bad the definition of Maverick has become distorted.
  • The Suikoden series does this a lot, essentially, in every game, in accordance with its shades of grey approach to war. In five proper games and several side games/spinoffs, there are less than a half dozen truly evil antagonists and more than a few instances of What the Hell, Hero? moments from your own side.
    • Teo McDohl from the first Suikoden. However, he sends his two right hand men to fight for his son against his emperor.
      • A number of the generals are this until you beat some sense into them. Many of them still profess loyalty to the emperor even as they join you, but find themselves in opposition to the country's direction under Windy. Most of them rejoin the reformed government.
    • In II, Culgan and Seed.
    • Jowy loves his country and would rather reform it by taking out Luca Blight using Xanatos Speed Chess than see it ravaged by war thanks to the disjointed alliance that is the city states.
    • The Zexen Knights in III open the game as this as they, Chris in particular, are opposed to the Zexen council's motives. This leads to a bit of The Atoner with Chris (and Salome removes the corrupt councilmen).
    • Sasarai in III is this. He's not all that elated with seeking out the True Runes in the grasslands, but follows through until the issue becomes much larger. Then he finds out that he is an Artificial Human cloned from the dear leader as a placeholder for a true rune. Despite this, he still goes back to his position once the war is over.
    • IV has Troy. Given the trend of the games to have these types of characters eventually come around in the end, many fans were disappointed in the lack of a Heel Face Turn, given that he was one of the few interesting characters in the game.
    • In V, there is a distinct divide on the Queen's nights concerning the Godwin rule. While some of the knights are quick to align with the prince, some align with the Godwins, and another considers his duty to Queen and country rather than any faction.
  • General Forsythe in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin fights only for the glory of his country, treats commanding officers and soldiers in the New Rubinelle Army with honor and dignity, and refuses to use Caulder's doomsday weapons to take them out. In the one mission where you go toe-to-toe with Forsythe, he actually comes and gives you advice on how to beat him. His AI is not aggressive, as he usually tries to beat you by blocking factories and sending infantries straight to your HQ. When you do beat Forsythe, he surrenders without a fight, on the sole condition that his army is treated with dignity, and he takes all the blame that his comrades deserve. Honestly, considering that the player is fighting under Admiral Greyfield's banner, it could be argued that you're on the "bad" side at that point in the game.
    • In dialogue, it's implied that Greyfield was the aggressor, and explicitly stated that Forsythe was called out of retirement to defend Lazuria.
  • Can be utilized by both the antagonists and protagonists in Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen. A good amount of the enemy generals feel this way, and if you're enough of a dick or just plain unlucky (damn you tarots to hell!), yours begin to think this way as well. Except for Deneb, of course.
  • Sam Carter from Deus Ex. He remains loyal to UNATCO even after it is revealed that the organization is just a front for Majestic Twelve. As he puts it, "We've got our share of crooked bureaucrats — fact — but this is still UNATCO, and by and large the people in this building are twenty-four carat gold." He does eventually join you against the Big Bad anyway, but only after UNATCO kicks him out, because they don't think he's loyal enough (or rather, not blindly loyal and able to recognise UNATCO's faults, which is what they don't want).
  • This is the attitude of Baldus in Blaze Union. In the A route, he's the last general left defending the capital against Gulcasa's revolution, and (so long as you follow Nessiah's directions to the letter) is persuaded into a neat little Heel Face Turn when Gulcasa points out that the revolution has Bronquia's best interests in mind. Having gotten to know Gulcasa earlier and thus being familiar with his struggles to protect the civilians, Baldus not only joins up enthusiastically, but winds up developing a great deal of paternal affection for him after this.
  • In World of Warcraft, loyalty to your faction - be it Alliance or Horde - is absolute for PCs and almost absolute for NPCs. While infighting among the leaders is common and the player can often disobey a morally questionable - or outright evil - demand given by a faction leader through Loophole Abuse, outright treason towards the faction itself is unheard of.
  • In Warship Gunner 2, Admiral Amagi of the Imperial Japanese Navy initially aids the player character because Japan is an ally of your nation, but later becomes a recurring enemy when Japan aligns with The Empire. So does Captain Tsukuba if he doesn't become your adjutant.
  • Nords loyal to the remains of the Empire in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim display some of this: they're dealing with a civil war where the other side is led by a secessionist whose grievances against the Emprire are genuine in spite of his "Skyrim for the Nords!" beliefs and many will adknowledge that the Nords have got a raw deal from them - scores of them killed in a war the Empire lost to the Thalamor, worship of their favorite deity, Talos, outlawed as part of the peace treaty, and heavy taxation to pay the war debts wrecking the economy. But as the first Imperial loyalist you could befriend in the game states, Skyim has always supported the Empire (Talos/Tiber Septim the first Emperor was a Nord) and "The Nords have never been fair-weather friends."

Western Animation

  • Crosses over with My Master, Right or Wrong in Beast Machines; the famed Vehicon generals Strika and Obsidian are loyal first, foremost, and always to Cybertron...which, by extension, also incorporates whoever is leading the planet at the time. When that leadership changes hands, so do they, and serve their new master faithfully, regardless of whether or not said master is morally good or if his/her goals are for the benefit of Cybertron. As far as they're concerned, as long as the ruling party is kept safe and their commands upheld, they are serving Cybertron. Their fellow Vehicon Thrust berated them over how stupid this philosophy was.
  • General Shiva from Exo Squad, despite all the atrocities that Phaeton or the other generals, Draconis or Typhonus, commit, he stays loyal to the Neo Sapien regime since he is a soldier. It becomes a Tear Jerker when he dies in his final battle, which seemed to be used since he had outlived his usefulness to Phaeton, who was already phasing out the Neo Sapiens with the Neo Lords.
  • What seems to be going on (due largely to extremely intense propaganda starting in elementary education) with a large portion of the Fire Nation military in Avatar: The Last Airbender, since while they get a lot of use as Faceless Mooks and the pacifist kid heroes are killing them before the end of season one, we also get brief characterization. Of course, Jeong Jeong's band of deserters decided that the wrong was too wrong and scarpered, and Zuko eventually decides to operate the "to be set right" part.
    • Iroh, significantly, appears to have decided this and then waited passively for five years for the right opportunity; before this he seems to have been a poster child for this trope.
  • Unicorns in Gravity Falls seem to have a "My Species, Right or Wrong" approach. While two of them scold Celestabethabelle for being a liar who takes advantage of humans simply for fun, they still side with her when violence breaks out.