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32 inspiring quotes about freedom to share on the 4th of July

Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln and other famous figures offer poignant reminders.
Hand holding a small American flag and lighted sparkler on the Fourth of July
pamelasphotopoetry / Getty Images/iStockphoto

This Fourth of July marks 246 years of our nation's independence.

To celebrate, throw America a star-spangled birthday bash, complete with all of the essential Fourth of July party trimmings like patriotic decorations, backyard games and barbecue galore.

Somewhere in the midst of the festive fun, take a moment to raise a toast to America’s Founding Fathers with these freedom quotes. After all, it’s because of their actions — and the revolutionaries that followed — that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is even a reality.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the very best freedom quotes from activists, politicians, poets and other historical figures that are guaranteed to get your heart beating true for the red, white and blue.

Whether you’re searching for something short to use as an Instagram caption for your fabulous fireworks photo or stirring words that sum up your gratitude, these wise words are a great way to show your patriotism on the Fourth of July and beyond.

Of course, let's remember that freedom is something to celebrate 24/7, 365 days a year. Bookmark these quotes, so you can have them on hand long after your Fourth of July party wraps.

  • "Freedom lies in being bold." ― Robert Frost
  • "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." ― Abraham Lincoln
  • "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." ― George Orwell
  • "We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it." ― William Faulkner, “Essays, Speeches & Public Letters”
  • "Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people." — Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • "For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." ― Nelson Mandela
  • "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will." ― Charlotte Brontë, "Jane Eyre"
  • "And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: 'We will not go quietly into the night!'"— Bill Pullman as President Thomas Whitmore, "Independence Day"
  • "Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes." ― Mahatma Gandhi
  • "I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you. Look at these thing, then you find yourself again" ― Anne Frank, "The Diary of a Young Girl"
  • "No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it." ― Paulo Coelho, “Eleven Minutes”
  • "I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own." ― Audre Lorde
  •  "Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." — Hans Christian Anderson, "The Complete Fairy Tales"
  • "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ― Benjamin Franklin
  • "A free bird leaps / on the back of the wind / and floats downstream / till the current ends / and dips his wing / in the orange sun rays / and dares to claim the sky." ― Maya Angelou, “The Complete Collected Poems”
  • "Freedom is something that dies unless it’s used." ― Hunter S. Thompson
  • "I have tasted freedom. I will not give up that which I have tasted." — Harvey Milk
  • "Nothing speaks so strongly of freedom as the fact that the descendants of those who went through great agony — which, thank Heaven, has passed away — have now full opportunities and can help celebrate my fifty years’ work for liberty." ― Susan B. Anthony
  • "She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom!" ― Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Scarlet Letter"
  • "If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things, there’s a chance you may contribute to making a better world. The choice is yours." — Noam Chomsky
  • "Freely we serve, Because we freely love, as in our will To love or not; in this we stand or fall." — John Milton, "Paradise Lost"
  • "But laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man may present his views without penalty there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population." — Albert Einstein,
  • "You never completely have your rights, one person, until you all have your rights." — Marsha P. Johnson
  •  "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it." ― Thomas Paine
  • "All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope." ― Winston Churchill
  • "Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred." ― Martin Luther King Jr.
  • "The function of freedom is to free someone else." ― Toni Morrison
  • "Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties." ― John Milton, “Areopagitica
  • "Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself." — Gloria Steinem
  • "Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind." ― Virginia Woolf, "A Room of One’s Own"
  • "While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the rights of conscience in others." — George Washington