Need a July 4th caption? 30 patriotic quotes to honor America and its history

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was ratified. Nearly 250 years later, our nation has had a rich history filled with triumphs, victories and conflict.

Patriotism can vary depending on the person. For some, it comes via civic duty. For others, it might be displaying the American flag on your lawn or on a t-shirt. There are many ways to show you're "proud to be an American."

But it doesn't need to be Independence Day to show your patriotic side. Here are some quotes about patriotism, liberty, freedom and America to raise spirits and inspire action.

Patriotic quotes

  • "This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on." – Thurgood Marshall

  • "Where liberty is, there is my country." – Benjamin Franklin

  • "True patriotism springs from a belief in the dignity of the individual, freedom and equality not only for Americans but for all people on earth." – Eleanor Roosevelt

  • "Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better." – Albert Camus

  • "The fact is, with every friendship you make, and every bond of trust you establish, you are shaping the image of America projected to the rest of the world." Michelle Obama

  • "America is a tune. It must be sung together." – Gerald Stanley Lee

  • "I think patriotism is like charity it begins at home." – Henry James

  • "America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor." – Paul Tsongas

  • "There is one thing that the American people always rise to and extend their hand to, and that is the truth of justice and of liberty and of peace." – Woodrow Wilson

  • "In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope." – Barack Obama

  • "Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history." – John McCain

  • "We are a nation of many nationalities, many races, many religions-bound together by a single unity, the unity of freedom and equality." – Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America." – Bill Clinton

  • "Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong." – James Bryce

  • "The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity – unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity." – Henry Clay

  • "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country." – John F. Kennedy

  • "I believe in America because we have great dreams, and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true." – Wendell Willkie

  • "America, to me, is freedom." – Willie Nelson

  • "America – it is a fabulous country, the only fabulous country; it is the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time." – Thomas Wolfe

  • "America is known as a country that welcomes people to its shores. All kinds of people." – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  • "This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." – Elmer Davis

  • "In America, nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gives you." – Amy Tan, "The Joy Luck Club"

  • "America is another name for opportunity." – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "Dreams are the foundation of America." – Lupita Nyong'o

  • "In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." – Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • "Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history. Sometimes a chicken can save a man’s life." – Mary Roach, "Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War"

  • "Freedom lies in being bold." – Robert Frost

  • "The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous." – Frederick Douglass

  • "I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom." – Bob Dylan

  • "Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country." – Calvin Coolidge

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 30 patriotic quotes about America as a country, and an idea