22 Inspiring Quotes About Freedom

UPDATED: January 3, 2024
PUBLISHED: June 26, 2020
older couple celebrating freedom on july 4

This Fourth of July, as you watch the sky light up red, white and blue, remind yourself of the meaning behind the holiday with these 22 quotes about freedom.

Quotes about freedom

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err and even to sin.” 

—Mahatma Gandhi

“From every mountainside, let freedom ring.” 

—Martin Luther King Jr.

“The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.” 

—Aung San Suu Kyi

“May freedom be seen, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to please to do what is right.” 

—Peter Marshall

“You call that freedom?”

“To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.” 

—Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

“It also is an occasion for remembering that in the truest sense freedom cannot be bestowed, it must be achieved; and that there must be constant vigilance if it is to be maintained.” 

—Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Freedom lies in being bold.” 

—Robert Frost

“Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and of human dignity.” 

—Herbert Hoover

“Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else.” 


“For everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labour in freedom.” 

—Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.” 

—Kahlil Gibran, The Vision

Quotes about America 

“Dreams are the foundation of America.” 

—Lupita Nyong’o

“America is another name for opportunity.” 

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

“This, then, is the state of the Union: Free and restless, growing and full of hope. So it was in the beginning. So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith.” 

—Lyndon B. Johnson

“I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.” 

—Theodore Roosevelt

“The essence of America—that which really unites us—is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion—it is an idea—and what an idea it is: that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.” 

—Condoleezza Rice

“I believe in America because we have great dreams, and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.” 

—Wendell Willkie

“Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the state was to make men free to develop their faculties, and that in its government the deliberative forces should prevail over the arbitrary. They valued liberty both as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”

—Louis D. Brandeis

Quotes about what freedom means

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you.” 

—Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it; our freedom must be buttressed by a homogeny equally and unchallengeably free, no matter what color they are, so that all the other inimical forces everywhere—systems political or religious or racial or national—will not just respect us because we practice freedom, they will fear us because we do.”

—William Faulkner, Essays, Speeches and Public Letters

“Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be.” 

—Daniel J. Boorstin

“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, Long Walk to Freedom

This article was updated July 2023. Photo by bbernard/Shutterstock

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