American patriotic voices go beyond the 4th of July: you have your Memorial Day patriots, Martin Luther King Jr. Day patriots, and the hardcore patriots that make time for Washington’s Birthday on the 15th of February.
There are many different patriotic voices. People express their love for their country through music, art, comedy, literature, and even sports.
Just to show you how diverse patriotism can be, here is a list of the 15 most patriotic voices of all time.
Patriotic Voices in Government
Political activists have inspired the masses and helped to promote values of equality and justice. From the founding fathers to the political rebels that inspired revolutionary change, patriotic voices have always existed in the American government.
1. George Washington
He is one of the founding fathers and the first president of the United States of America (he served two terms). George Washington was one of the people who led the country to victory during the American Revolution. In his early years, George served in the army where he grew to be a revolutionary war military leader.
“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter” – George Washington
George Washington believed that freedom of speech was a fundamental right in the building of a nation. His presidency brought with it a series of firsts: he was the first to proclaim and celebrate Thanksgiving day, and to sign the first law that protected the copyrights of authors.
2. Samuel Adams
Similar to George Washington, Samuel Adams is also one of the founding fathers of the United States. Adams used his patriotic voice to protest British taxation and unite the American colonies during the Revolutionary War.
He also contributed ideas to the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Towards his later years till death, Adams served as an elected official in the Massachusetts state.
“The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule. ” – Samuel Adams
3. Elmer Davis
Elmer Holmes Davis worked as a news writer, editor, and reporter at the New York Times. It was here that he covered stories ranging from political and religious rallies to boxing tournaments – for ten years.
He was also in charge of the United States Office of War Information during WWII, and you wanna know how he got this gig? Davis made a broadcast telling the government to find more efficient ways of cascading war information to the public.
This patriot was bothered by the fact that there were too many agencies involved when it came to war information, so naturally, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Office of War Information and appointed Elmer Davis as its director.
While in office, he ensured that media houses showed inspiring and positive content to give the public hope for a future after the war.
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis
Elmer is one of the most outspoken patriotic voices of all time. He openly criticized politics and opposed military censorship of information.
4. Benjamin Franklin
Unless you have been living under a rock, you definitely know who Benjamin Franklin is. He is one of the founding fathers and is mostly famous for being one of the key people in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
He is also known for his inventions like the Franklin heat-efficient stove and the lightning rod. Franklin was a jack of all trades; inventor, scientist, politician, writer, and printer.
“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” – Benjamin Franklin
Franklin’s contributions to shaping the United States cannot be downplayed. This patriot helped in negotiating the Treaty of Alliance with France that helped pave the way for the victory of the Continental Army.
5. The Common Law Patriot – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. is famously known for his work in the judiciary system as one of the advocates of free speech.
He is also written a book called Common Law which contained common laws in the United States pertaining to property, crime, and contracts. This book was received as a fresh voice at the time given Wendell’s sharp tongue and mind when it came to the law.
He was awarded a Hall of Fame for Great Americans in 1965. This is an award that honors American citizens whose works have inspired and left a lasting mark across generations.
“We have shared the incommunicable experience of war, we have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top. In our youth our hearts were touched with fire” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
His father, Oliver Wendell Sr., is famous for being a poet, physician, and medical researcher.
6. Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry was one of the patriots against forced taxation by Great Britain (this is what inspired his ‘liberty or death’ speech).
Henry was an anti-federalist who was against the idea of the national government having too much power, fearing that it would eventually result in a monarch.
“Give me liberty, or give me death! ” – Patrick Henry
He was also instrumental in the making of the Bill of Rights for the American people.
7. The Patriotic Spy -Nathan Hale
Nathan Hale played his part as a spy and soldier during the American Revolutionary War. He disguised himself as a Dutch schoolmaster, which allowed him to easily get past the British security, and collected intelligence on the British troops for weeks.
The story ends with him being captured while sailing back to his American troops – so close!
After dear old’ Nate had been caught, the British decided to execute him by hanging him – and that is when Nathan supposedly said this very patriotic quote:
“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” – Nathan Hale
8. John F. Kennedy
Americans refer to Kennedy as one of the greatest presidents they ever had, and there just might be some truth to this. Kennedy was young and charismatic, and he was also a veteran of the Second World War. He was also a good orator and his speeches always inspired the listeners and American citizens in general.
“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
During his short presidency, Kennedy pushed for the Civil Rights Bill which banned public segregation and employment discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, nationality, or color.
Patriotic Voices in Entertainment
Someone once said that watching American football is like watching patriotism on steroids.
The connection between sports and nationalism is almost sacred. Military pride blends into competitive sports and together they form a vital part of the American experience.
In the entertainment industry, patriotic voices emerge in the form of comedians and filmmakers who inspire people to fight for their country.
9. George M. Cohan
Even though he was born on the 3rd of July, Cohan always insisted that he was born on the 4th – it’s like patriotism was ingrained into his genes from day one. George M. Cohan is famously known for a show he put up called I’m a Yankee Doodle Boy later renamed to Yankee Doodle Dandy.
“Ev’ry heart beats true ‘neath the Red, White and Blue.” – George Cohan
Cohan played the roles of a producer, lyricist, composer, and so much more; no wonder he was known as the man who owned and created Broadway. He showcased his patriotism through his art.
10. The Patriotic Voice that Shaped Comedy – Charles F. Browne
Charles F. Browne was a comedian and an American humor writer. His act was that of an illiterate circus showman who toured the country writing about the people and the events he saw. Browne even has a pseudo name; going by the name Artemus Ward whenever he performed his act.
Browne is often referred to as the father of stand-up comedy and is said to have revolutionized the industry.
“We can’t all be Washingtons but we can all be patriots.” – Charles F Browne
11. George Bernard Shaw
George is famously known for being one of the top patriotic voices in theatre. One of his earliest works, Pygmalion, was later adapted into a comedic musical called My Fair Lady. The play put Shaw on the map due to its unique approach to phonetics and social classism.
“Liberty is the breath of life to nations” – George Bernard Shaw
George was from a very poor background growing up. He tried his hand in writing novels one too many times without any promising gigs coming his way.
His plays were full of radical ideas that were alien to the society at the time. He showed humanity and idealism in his work, a skill that led him to win a Nobel Peace Prize in literature in 1925.
In summary, George Bernard Shaw’s plays set the stage for witty and clever performances. He invented a new way of approaching taboo topics in society.
12. Willie Nelson
Willie Hugh Nelson used his patriotic voice in music and activism. Nelson was a country musician. He was first exposed to the music scene through his grandparents, and after shortly serving in the Air Force, he continued pursuing music and became a household name in 1975.
“America to me, is freedom” – Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson was a political activist that spoke up against the war in Iraq. He believes that if people had their own oil, there wouldn’t be wars. This though inspired Nelson to build his bio-diesel oil line of products that are made from vegetables.
13. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes is famous for writing a series of essays called the ‘Breakfast Table.’ Wendell was a poet, physician, and was one of the best writers in his day – talk about a jack of all trades.
He is also known for his medical research and teachings, but it was his comic verses that put him on the map as one of the most patriotic voices of all time.
“One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation evermore.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
His son, Oliver Wendell Jr., is famous for his work in the judiciary system as one of the advocates of free speech. Oliver Wendell Sr. was a free thinker and he exercised his freedom of expression through his writing.
He wrote a patriotic poem called “Old Ironside” that helped in preventing the destruction of the U.S.S. Constitution battleship. This was one of the first warships and is now preserved in Boston National Historic Park. He truly inspired many people to unconditionally love and defend their country.
Patriotic Voices that Transcended Race
These voices are inspiring because they spoke up even when all the odds were stacked against them.
14. Jesse Owens
Owens used his patriotic voice in sports and rose to fame as one of the first African Americans that cemented the United States’ position in the Olympic games.
Jesse Owens was a grandson of a slave and obviously spent his earlier days picking cotton despite his frail-looking body. It was until they moved from the South and moved to Cleveland, Ohio that he was exposed to a whole new world.
From running track in high-school to breaking two records and willing four gold medals at the Olympics – Jesse’s story can inspire anyone to believe in themselves.
“In America, anyone can still become someone” – Jesse Owens
He had many achievements, but Jesse is mostly remembered because of how he used his athletism to face racism. After winning his country the gold medals during the Olympics, he still didn’t get a homely welcome from his country people. His voice remained patriotic even when all the odds were against him.
15. Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix started out in the army before he left to pursue his passion for music. He did various renditions of the Star-Spangled banner anthem and used his artistic prowess to paint a patriotic picture for the American people. He wrote the renditions to pay respects to the soldiers who died in war.
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace ” – Jimi Hendrix
He also used his music to condemn social evils like corruption, and the injustices of war, and racism.
Jimi Hendrix rose as a cultural hero during a time when people were just starting to get fed up with the government.
You could always use a reminder of America’s greatness, and who better to remind you of your country’s history than patriots?
Patriotism brings people together and makes a nation stronger.
Want to record patriotic voices for your next project? Reach us here and team up with the best creative professionals.