Forgotten Freedom Symbols

freedom symbol
Throughout history, there have been numerous symbols of freedom used worldwide. These symbols depict the ancient historical movements of independence and resistance, struggle, and revolution across centuries. Some examples include the Celtic harp, Greek tsarouchis, the bald eagle, and more.

What Are Some Historic Symbols Of Freedom?

These freedom symbols vary depending on the people, caste, religion, and nationality. While these symbols are ancient, people continue to use a few even today in pop culture and tattoos. Here are some classic examples of freedom symbols.

What Is The Celtic Symbol For Freedom?

Celts have used the harp to demonstrate freedom for a long time. Before Celtic Ireland ended, people depended on bards or harpers to communicate, share ideas, pass information, and tell stories.  

Ireland used to have a lot of art depicting harps. However, much of this art was destroyed during Ireland’s colonization. Since then, the harp has been a symbol of resistance, expression, and freedom. Ireland values these ideas so much that people see the harp as a symbol of the country itself.

freedom symbols

The Hawk as a Symbol of Freedom

The ancient Celts also considered the hawk an animal symbol of victory and freedom. Celtic art showed it devouring a rabbit to symbolize lust or greed. It represents the hawk as freedom, while the rabbit depicts the limiting behaviors. 

freedom symbol
The hawk is a symbol of freedom in Celtic lore.

The Ur or Heather Symbol

Besides that, the Celtic Ogham alphabet was a form of written communication used by Celts. The Ur or Heather present in Ogham symbolizes freedom in their language. It indicates a release or catharsis and outpouring of the soul.

freedom symbol
The Ur or Heather symbol represents spiritual freedom.

Tsarouchis – A Forgotten Symbol of Freedom

The tsarouchi is a Greek shoe with an oversized round tassel on the tip. They were common during the War of Independence of Greece in 1821. 

The leather shoe was light and worn by villagers until the end of the 19th century. After getting liberation from the Turks, they added significance to its design. 

The tassel began symbolizing the tree of liberty. In contrast, the blade present within the tassel depicted how the Greek men would kick the enemy who hampered the small tree of liberty. 

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An example of tsarouchis

French Revolution Symbols of Freedom

The French used the famous Marianne as a national symbol of freedom. The young woman is a part of the famous painting by Delacroix – Liberty Leading the People. The painting commemorates the 1830 French Revolution and is a symbol of freedom.

The figurative painting based on a current event depicts a fierce uprising that lasted in Paris for three days, during which the mob asked Charles X to resign.

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Eugène Delacroix – La LibertĂ© Guidant le Peuple

Freedom Symbols In American History

The Statue of Liberty, located in New York City, is the most popular among the commonly recognized American symbols. It’s a copper statue that France gifted to the US in 1886. 

The statue features the figure of Libertas, a Roman goddess of liberty. She is holding a torch in her right hand, which is raised above her head, and in her left is a tabula ansata inscribed with July IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776). 

A chain and broken shackle is lying close to her feet to commemorate freedom from slavery.

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The Statue of Liberty, New York City

Another important freedom symbol prominent in American history is the bald eagle. Not only is it America’s national bird but also a symbol of power and freedom. The bald eagle replaced the original small white eagle symbol on the Great Seal on June 20, 1782. 

The United States has also adopted it in “The Land of the Free” to represent strength, power, and freedom.

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The bald eagle is a sign of freedom, especially in the United States.

What Is The Symbol Of Freedom And Independence?

The 2,080-pound Liberty Bell is a national symbol of freedom and independence. Americans also celebrate Independence Day, the Fourth of July, as much as they celebrate the Statue of Liberty.

The Liberty Bell was made from 70% copper in Whitechapel Foundry in London in 1751. Its primary purpose was to summon all the lawmakers to the Pennsylvania State House, now widely known as Independence Hall.

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The Liberty Bell

What Symbolizes Freedom And Peace?

The American flag has been an important symbol of freedom and justice for over 225 years. It has been a sign of freedom and democracy through wars and times of peace.

Also known as Old Glory, it consists of 13 horizontal stripes in red that alternate with white stripes. The flag also has a blue rectangle in the upper left corner, along with fifty stars, representing every state of the country. 

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The American flag

Is Bird A Symbol Of Freedom?

Birds can soar through the air quickly, and their vantage point from the sky gives them higher perspectives, often symbolizing freedom. They’re also seen as messengers between the earth and heaven. The Bible portrays them as carrying a powerful spiritual meaning or lesson.

Albatrosses are another bird symbol of freedom. The bird lives alone and travels distances in the high sea. An albatross shows that true freedom implies living alone to ensure independence. 

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Best Freedom Symbol Tattoo Ideas

There are numerous symbols of freedom that can be an inspiration for tattoos. Birds are a popular tattoo idea, and soaring birds, eagles, and doves can also symbolize freedom. Besides that, wings, broken birdcages, and broken chains could also be a great choice.

freedom symbol
This tattoo represents the wearer no longer being held back or “caged.”

Those looking for a freedom tattoo with religious significance can opt for a Christian cross or its variation like the Ankh symbol or the Celtic cross. People from the LGBT community also get rainbow tattoos to denote gender freedom and human rights.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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