Don’t Ask Winston Churchill To Fly Kite

Find out why I say don’t ask Winston Churchill to fly kite against the wind so you don’t wind up sharing this misquote.

The quote:

“Kites rise highest against the wind and not with it.”

It is commonly attributed to Sir Winston Churchill.

But as to date, no one has has yet to locate its original source where it is uttered or written by Churchill.

The International Churchill Society is also still trying to verify the authenticity source of this quote.

Nevertheless, this quote which is ascribed to Winston Churchill is widely published in books and blindly shared by websites all over the Internet.

don't ask Winston Churchill to fly kite

Now if you type in Google search, “Who said kites rise highest against the wind and not with the wind?

As swift as the wind, Google will tell you it is: “Churchill‘.

Kites rise against not with the wind by John Neal

So far I managed to find this line from an essay by John Neal back in 1846.

It was way back even before Churchill was born.

The line goes like this:

“A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with the wind. ”

This particular line is taken from John Neal’s essay titled “Original Essay – Enterprise and Perseverance” published in the “Weekly Mirror” of New York on 31 January, 1846. See image below:

John Neal against wind quote

I still could not get the actual essay as published in “Weekly Mirror“.

But this John Neal’s “Enterprise And Perseverance” essay was published in many other publications.

The following month, this essay was republished in The Western Literary Messenger, February 21, 1846.

You can also see it in Rome Sentinel, March 20, 1846 (below).

kite against wind quote

In the 1888 book “Other Men’s Minds Or, Seven Thousand Choice Extracts On History, Science, Philosophy, Religion, Etc: Selected from the Standard Authorship of Ancient and Modern Times, and Classified in Alphabetical Order” by Edwin Davis, it attributed this quote to John Neal on page 418.

kites against wind john neal

Note: This free book is also found in Haiti Trust site.

So this quote “Kites rise against not with the wind” should be by John Neal and definitely NOT by Winston Churchill.

“Kites rise against not with the wind” – John Neal

If Sir Winston Churchill knew this quote wrongly attributed to him, I think he might have remarked:

“Never, never, never give in to misquotes!”

There are lots of quotes wrongly ascribed to Sir Winston Churchill.

Here is another popular misquote:

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it” credited to Henry Ford.

No one has ever cited its reliable source yet.

By the way, this is another quote wrongly attributed to Henry Ford:

As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities.”

Wind Quotes With Citations

Talking about wind, here are three authentic wind quotes:

“You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down.” – Clive Staples Lewis

(Christian Behaviour: A Further Series Of Broadcast Talks By Clive Staples Lewis, London: Macmillan, 1946, P. 63) source

“We may by care and skill be able to trim our ship, to steer our course, or to keep our reckoning; but we cannot control the winds, or subdue deceitful currents, or prevent disasters.” – Sailors

(The Sailors’ Prayer Book: A Manual Of Devotion For Sailors At Sea, And Their Families At Home, Sermon: The God Of Sailors, London: John Snow, 1852, First Week, Serman, The God Of Sailor, P. 7) source

“The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.” – Joan Didion

(We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live:Collected Nonfiction By Joan Didion, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006, Slouching Towrds Bethlehem, Los Angeles Notebook, 1, P. 164) source

(The quote is also found here.)

* Check out my selection of triumph over adversity quotes.