"Built to stay free” is an anagram of “Statue of Liberty.” New York (NY) Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz explained on NPR’s Weekend All Things Conisdered in June 1996 that the anagram is from an old-time puzzler, Sarah Cummings of Detroit, and was first published in 1937.
Wikipedia: Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City, in the United States. The copper statue, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, was built by Gustave Eiffel and dedicated on October 28, 1886. It was a gift to the United States from the people of France. The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States, and was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad.
30 June 1996, Weekend All Things Considered (NPR), “Phyllis Webb plays word game with Will Shortz”:
WILL SHORTZ: OK. Well, with the Fourth of July coming up this week, I brought a patriotic anagram. It’s by an old- time puzzler, Sarah Cummings [sp] of Detroit, and was first published in 1937. Take the phrase `Built to stay free,’ rearrange the 15 letters to spell a familiar and appropriate answer. So again, the phrase is, `Built to stay free.’ Rearrange these 15 letters to spell a familiar and appropriate answer. What is it?
The Reading Teacher’s Book Of Lists
By Edward B. Fry and Jacqueline E. Kress
San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Statue of Liberty—built to stay free
Statue of liberty
when you rearrange the letters= Built to stay free.
7:06 PM - 21 May 2009
What’s the meaning of the ‘Statue of Liberty’? ANAGRAM says ‘Built to Stay Free’!
2:39 PM - 6 Nov 2015
FEBRUARY 24, 2016
The Secret Meaning Hidden Within These 50 Words Will Make You LOL And Think
STATUE OF LIBERTY
Built to stay free
STATUE OF LIBERTY | BUILT TO STAY FREE
Published on Apr 25, 2016
STATUE OF LIBERTY | BUILT TO STAY FREE • Anagrams Series 2015, by Massimo Agostinelli