It seems to me that the phrase is relatively well used, (it comes up in the Office, Archer (S04E09), on reddit in a context that seems to suggest common acceptance, etc.) Browsing through a few of the references on Google Books, they range from books where the phrase is uttered by a character to ads ("You can't put a price on freedom, but how does $199 strike you?").

My question is where is this phrase from? Did someone at some point say this verbatim, or is it that we as a society agree with the idea, and this happens to be one of the ways that idea is expressed?

On that same Google Books search I couldn't find anything from earlier than the 1990's. Is this phrase really that young?

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Early usage examples of the expression “put a price on freedom” and close variants, appears to date back to late ‘50s - early ‘60s in political contexts:

From Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, Volume 26 - 1956

We ask no man to put a price on freedom. We ask no man to skimp one dollar on the support of our fighting men or to withhold one penny that will help achieve the peace that we seek in Viet Nam. We never know just how much we spend ...

From United States. Congress - 1962

We cannot put a price on freedom; we cannot put a price on independence. If we cannot defend ourselves, then what we have in the country today is worthless Mr. RUSSELL. I was about to say that if we could not defend ourselves, we would lose our liberties and be overrun by the Soviets. We would not have urban renewal ...

The expression is probably derived from the related, earlier and more common saying “cost of freedom” whose usage dates back to early 19th century in the context of political debate on slavery in the US:

From Sermons Preached at the Annual Election 1820

They were compelled to count the cost of freedom, — to say what they would give in exchange for it ; they bought it with exile and sorrow ; they afterwards redeemed it with blood ; and they never repented their choice, for they set its value so high, that they determined within themselves that it was better to sleep under the ...

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