6 Of The Most Patriotic Country Music Legends Of All Time

(1st Photo) Kevin Winter/ACMA2014/Getty Images (2nd Photo) Roy Rochlin/Getty Images (3rd Photo) Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Are you ready to celebrate this Independence Day with a special tribute to the most patriotic country singers?

Country music has often incorporated themes of patriotism, military service, and nationalistic sentiments into its framework, creating a seamless blend that truly resonates with its audience.

But do you know why country music seems to embrace this theme so passionately?

The connection between country music and nationalism dates back to the early 20th century. This era saw the emergence of songs aimed at unifying the nation around the war effort, laying the foundation for the enduring association between music and patriotism. Country music has since become a symbol of American pride.

Certain country singers proudly and unapologetically display their patriotic spirit more often than others. Whether through heartfelt musical tributes or active participation in public advocacy and important causes, these country music stars truly know how to express their love for their country!

So, grab your cowboy hat, turn up the volume, and get ready to dive into our list of 6 of the most patriotic country music legends of all time!

  • Toby Keith

Starting off strong, the late and great Toby Keith is at the top of our list.

Throughout his thirty-year career, Keith consistently showed off his patriotism. Over the span of 19 albums, he frequently explored themes centered on American life and his admiration for those in the military. Coming from a military family himself, (Keith’s father, Hubert K. Covel Jr., was an Army veteran who fought in the Korean War), Keith seized every chance to convey his appreciation for the soldiers defending freedom.

Since 2002, Toby Keith committed his efforts to embark on 11 USO (United Service Organizations) tours, performing for deployed soldiers overseas in 17 different countries, including Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Every year, I look forward to spending time with the men and women who serve this great country. When I get on stage and look out into a crowd of uniforms, it gives me a great sense of pride to know that I am giving back to them,” Keith shared.

During his visit to troops in Afghanistan, Keith identified the necessity of providing everyday comforts to service members stationed in remote areas, far from main bases and USO Centers. This led to the creation of the “USO2GO” program, which delivers essential electronics, entertainment, comfort food, and more to those stationed in remote locations.

Award-winning singer and songwriter Toby Keith plays for more than 3,500 troops and support personnel stationed in Afghanistan as part of a 12-day, five-country USO tour in 2012. (Dave Gatley/USO)
Toby Keith plays for more than 3,500 troops and support personnel stationed in Afghanistan as part of a 12-day, five-country USO tour in 2012. (Dave Gatley/USO)

Keith also released multiple songs that reflected his deep-rooted patriotism and his strong connection to American values.

“Courtesy Of The Red, White, And Blue” – Also known as “The Angry American,” this song is a powerful anthem written in response to the 9/11 tragedy and the passing of his military veteran father in the same year.

“American Soldier” – This heartfelt song is a tribute to the dedication and sacrifice of American soldiers. The song resonates with many service members and their families, capturing the pride and gratitude felt towards those who serve in the armed forces.

“Made In America” – This spirited anthem celebrates the values of hard work, patriotism, and American pride. The song pays homage to the strength and resilience of the American people and the importance of staying true to one’s roots and heritage.

  • Lee Greenwood

Lee Greenwood is another highly patriotic artist who has showcased his unwavering support for the United States and its military numerous times. Known for his hit song “God Bless The U.S.A.,” he’s a true red, white, and blue enthusiast.

Greenwood’s music often reflects themes of love for country, gratitude for freedom, and appreciation for the men and women who serve in the armed forces.

In addition to his music, Greenwood has been actively involved in charitable and philanthropic efforts to support military personnel and their families. He actually worked for the USO when he was around 15 at McClellan and major Air Force bases in Sacramento, which he has said gave him a good taste of the military and their sacrifice. His father also served in World War II.

Preceding the invasion of Panama in 1989, President George Bush (41) asked me to fly there to raise the spirits of our troops about to go to war. We would perform in 4 separate locations in country. He also asked me to deliver a letter from him to 200 marines deep in the jungle. While in route we came under fire - my driver lost his index finger as we drove through the barrage of bullets. This picture was sent to me this week by Terry Cowan and it gives an idea of the conditions.I was honored to be called by the President of the United States to serve our military in lifting their spirits during such a tense time.
Lee Greenwood performs to raise the spirit of troops in 1989. (Lee Greenwood/Facebook)

Speaking about the ever-popular American anthem, “God Bless The U.S.A.,” Greenwood shared:

“When I said, ‘I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free,’ I know that resonated with every American who has lost a son or daughter in conflict combat, and maybe just the strife of how we exist here in America. There’s no other country like this that’s free like we are.”

40 years after he wrote the song, Greenwood recently recorded “God Bless The U.S.A.” for Country Rebel Patriot Sessions.

Listen to it below and stream and download the live audio on your favorite music services.

  • Johnny Cash

Another legendary figure in country music who often showcased his deep love for America was Jonny Cash. He performed for American troops in various military settings, demonstrating his direct support for the armed forces. Johnny Cash himself enlisted in the Air Force at 18 and served four years.

Johnny Cash also released an entire compilation album, Patriot, that incorporated ten of Cash’s most patriotic tracks, including his popular song “Ragged Old Flag, which echoes his patriotism, honoring our nation and its values.

The song narrates the tale of an elderly man in a town square recounting the experiences of the flag and the country. As the song’s storyteller comments to the man about the worn appearance of the flag, the man explains why he remains proud of it despite its condition.

Cash wrote “Ragged Old Flag” to “reaffirm faith in the country and the goodness of the American people.”

“So we raise her up every morning /
We take her down every night /
We don’t let her touch the ground, and we fold her up right /
On second thought, I do like to brag /
‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that ragged old flag.”

  • Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins has frequently shared his patriotic spirit throughout his career.

Adkins has actively supported charitable organizations that benefit veterans and military families and has participated in 11 USO tours to perform for American troops since 2002.

Adkins shared of his USO tours:

“I wish more people would do it. For me, personally, it’s just an opportunity to say thank you and that I support what you guys are doing. It’s as simple as that.”

During a 2016 concert appearance at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, the country music star revealed why he was there visiting the troops and singing for them.

“I hope for a minute that folks can just smile and have a good time. Maybe we give them a little taste of home.”

In September 2019, Adkins received the Outstanding Civilian Service Award for his numerous charitable endeavors.

Country music star Trace Adkins poses with a Soldier at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait as part of the USO’s 75th Anniversary Concert Series, June 8. Adkins spent time with troops answering questions, signing autographs, posing for photos and also performed a concert to show his support for the United States military. (Photo by Spc. Angela Lorden/Released)
Trace Adkins poses with a Soldier at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait as part of the USO’s 75th Anniversary Concert Series. (Photo by Spc. Angela Lorden/Released)

Adkins has also released multiple songs that pay tribute to the military and honor the sacrifices made by service members.

“Arlington” – This song is narrated from the perspective of a soldier who was killed in combat and laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. The inspiration for the song came from United States Marine Corps Corporal Patrick Nixon, who lost his life in battle in 2003. After meeting Nixon’s father, Dave Turnbull felt compelled to compose the song. The song was later recorded by Adkins in 2005.

“Semper Fi” – This song is a tribute to the Marine Corps and is perfectly fitting to the strength and reliance of the Marines, as Adkins sings:

“For the few that wear the dress blues /
Haircut high and tight /
Who are proud to be the first ones in the fight /
Semper Fi.”

Adkins shared of the song:

“A lot of times we go into these combat zones and do the USO trips and there aren’t any Marines at the shows. We don’t get to go where the Marines are because the Marines are stationed in really hot [dangerous] areas. They won’t let us go there and they don’t get to come to the shows either because they are out in the middle of nowhere. So we decided we would do a song for the Marine Corps and give it to them. That’s really why we did it.”

  • Kellie Pickler

Kellie Pickler may just be the queen of patriotism. Not only has she participated in special performances for troops, but she has also been involved in various charitable initiatives supporting military families and veterans.

Like Toby Keith and Trace Adkins, Kellie Pickler has participated in 11 USO tours, which have given her the opportunity to connect with and entertain a significant number of service members and their families—precisely 44,603 individuals.

Since her initial tour to Iraq in 2007, Pickler has been a dedicated advocate for the military community and the USO. Her involvement has ranged from accompanying the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on travels to engaging in Skype sessions with female service members serving abroad on Valentine’s Day.

Her unwavering commitment also earned her prestigious accolades, including the Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award, Chris Kyle Patriot Award, and USO of North Carolina’s Heart of the Warrior Award.

Country singer Kellie Pickler sings a duet with U.S. Army Sgt. Tyler Vandegaart, a soldier assigned to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, during a United Service Organization tour Dec. 9, 2014 at the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. The tour also featured a musical performance by Dianna Agron, a sketch by comedian Rob Riggle, and comments from actress Meghan Markle and professional athletes Brian Urlacher and Doug Fister. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz/released)
Kellie Pickler sings a duet with U.S. Army Sgt. Tyler Vandegaart, a soldier assigned to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, during a United Service Organization tour Dec. 9, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz/released)

Sharing a quote to her fans on her social media, Pickler said:

“It is not about politics -> it’s about patriots. #UnitedWeStand divided we fall. Stand for TRUTH. I LOVE YOU ALL. Much love my brothers & sisters.”

Pickler has also shown off her American pride by singing the National Anthem on multiple occasions, including the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400. See her performance in the video below.

  • Charlie Daniels

Last but not least, Charlie Daniels rounds up our list.

Throughout his decades-long career, Daniels was often actively involved in supporting veterans’ organizations and charitable initiatives, demonstrating his commitment to honoring their service and sacrifices.

For Veteran’s Day in 2022, Daniels shared a quote with his supporters on social media:

“I learned at a very early age that two things and two things alone protect America from those who seek to destroy it — the grace of almighty God and the United States military.”

The Charlie Daniels Band plays for military members of Ali Base, Iraq, on Saturday, April 15, 2006, as part of Stars for Stripes, a nonprofit organization which works with Armed Forces Entertainment and U.S. Army Europe Morale, Welfare and Recreation to bring celebrity entertainment to remote sites. The Charlie Daniels Band has been entertaining U.S. military troops around the world for more than 35 years. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Valerie Smith)
The Charlie Daniels Band plays for military members of Ali Base, Iraq in 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Valerie Smith)

Charlie Daniels also released multiple songs that expressed his love for America and his support for the values of freedom.

“In America” – This 1980 song by the Charlie Daniels Band reflects the challenges America faced in the late 1970s, including the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, economic difficulties, and the Iran Hostage Crisis.

Despite these challenges, the song conveys a patriotic and united America that will overcome obstacles and regain its greatness. Additionally, a live music video was released shortly after the September 11 attacks.

“This Ain’t No Rag, It’s a Flag” – This 2001 song, written solely by Daniels, was a response to the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The lyrics convey the idea of our nation standing together and what our flag stands for.

“This ain’t no rag, it’s a flag /
And we don’t wear it on our heads /
It’s a symbol of the land where the good guys live /
Are you listening to what I said?”

After receiving considerable attention from the song, Daniels later followed with a book titled Ain’t No Rag.

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