July could arguably be the most “American” of all of the United States’ calendar months—it’s a time for water sports, pool parties, bright summer days and balmy summer nights, iced-down Coca Cola straight from the glass bottle and picnic tables laden with hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob, and homemade apple pie. As nostalgic as the month of July can be for many Americans, the heart of this season’s holiday—the Fourth of July, and the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted 241 years ago—can sometimes be lost in a haze of delicious foods and outdoor parties. Midnight Publishing has been working with writers and entrepreneurs for nearly a decade in Phoenix, Arizona and around the world, and as editors, ghostwriters, and marketers who collaborate with authors on a daily basis, we are constantly reminded of the significance of free speech and all the rights that come along with our hard-earned freedom. A few weeks back we discussed how authors could get involved in activism, both locally and globally (find the post here!), and today we encourage our readers to reflect on the history of how the United States came to be a free nation and the many, many rights it’s allotted us as citizens, as well as some ways to show your patriotism this month and all year as a proud American:

A Brief History of the United States

In 1607 British citizens moved to what’s now called Jamestown, Virginia, to colonize it. As more settlers from other European countries also traveled to America, thirteen colonies arose within the next century and a half. By 1775, the Revolutionary War broke out between the Americans and the British over Great Britain’s new set of policies—and a year later, on July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was created. It asserted that the United States’ citizens were free of Great Britain’s rule and that America was a free country from then on. The United States Constitution was written in 1787, followed by the Bill of Rights (which includes the First Amendment’s freedom of speech) in 1791.

4 Ways to Showcase Your Patriotism

1. Proudly Display an American Flag

One of the easiest ways to showcase your pride as an American is to display a flag outside your home. For proper etiquette on how to handle, raise, lower, and display the American flag, go here.

2. Exercise your First Amendment Rights of Free Speech and Peaceful Assembly

Writers, news reporters, authors, and anyone with a social media platform has the ability and the right to communicate their opinion about current events in a respectful, appropriate manner. It’s also your right as an American to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances. (The 2017 Women’s March on January 21st, 2017 was a prime example of peaceful assembly.)

3. Show Support for Your Local Veterans and the Armed Forces

In Phoenix alone, there are many organizations to donate time and money toward that benefit our nation’s veterans. Some local Phoenix organizations dedicated to serving veterans include Dogs4Vets, Veterans for Veterans, and the Arizona Coalition for Military Families.

4. Vote

One of the best ways to show your support as an American citizen is to display an active involvement in our country’s democratic process. Many countries still don’t offer their citizens this power, and women have only had the right to vote since 1920. Thus it means that much more for us to exercise our ability to do so!

Midnight Publishing has been working with author clients for nearly a decade, assisting them in various stages of editing, writing, and marketing to polish and perfect their manuscripts for publication. Whether you’re looking to self-publish, pursue a traditional publishing contract or a hybrid system, Midnight Publishing is the perfect editing and writing team for you! Contact us today to get scheduled.