There are those who smile at this statue being represented as an icon of personal freedom. That's for you to decide.
I think it was my old mate Simeon Strunsky, in 1944, who said:
Famous remarks are very seldom quoted correctly...
... and this can be taken for various dialectics as well, for example the Hegelian, which is nearly always misrepresented, as stated by Heinrich Moritz Chalybäus ...
... a thesis, giving rise to its reaction, an antithesis which contradicts or negates the thesis, the tension between the two resolved by a synthesis.
This, in turn, also gives rise to an interpretation which some are wont to call the Hegelian dialectic, which states that governments and virtually any higher body who want to bring in some policy do so via a threefold progression:
1. create a crisis;
2. people demand a solution;
3. government propose a solution which includes the policy they wanted in the first place.
In turn, this idea can be refined to read this way:
1. think of a policy you want, e.g. ID cards and the restriction of personal freedom;
2. go to a group of people designated as the baddies, known for going off the deep end easily and stir them up on their home patch;
3. when they commit atrocities, which somehow they most surprisingly get past your defences to do:
4. wait for the community reaction;
5. draft general draconian laws to counter the perceived threat;
6. thereby put in place that which you wanted in 1. above.
Governments are only the outward manifestation of the people of power behind them. Many of these people take the point of view expressed by Hegel himself, this time correctly quoted from 1830:
Only in the state does man have a rational existence ... Man owes his entire existence to the state and has his being within it alone.
Needless to say I reject this utterly or if not utterly, in large part. Such a philosophy gives rise to tyranny and the constant attempt to reduce the common man to a serf and a malleable serf and that is what we're seeing right now.
Whether you are a businessman just needing the right to trade freely or you are an individual just needing the right to express your opinion without being vilified by powerful lobbies or incarcerated by the state, the desire is the same: