Saying "land of the free" has always been more of a slogan than a real thing. Yes, the US was largely "more free" than its contemporaries and even while that freedom only applied to white, Christian men, it was still a step ahead of most other nations. But it was still a slogan. Slogans are clumsy bits of wording used to advertise and/or make some group feel better about themselves. It worked.
The only problem is that as slogans go, people cease understanding or thinking about the meaning of the words contained in the phrase and more just recite it out of rote recitation. Like when I was a young Christian saying the "Lord's Prayer". I can say it from beginning to end without thinking of it. "Our father who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. . ." It's so programmed into my brain that — like a well-practiced song — I can just sprint through it without much thought as to its meaning.
This applies to almost any common prayer, song, poem, dance, pledge, etc. They cease having meaning because people just mouth them as platitudes. And what's worse, the cultural moment to continue mouthing those platitudes builds to a point where if you do not mouth them on cue, you're branded some kind of traitor. Like when Stalin spoke before the Supreme Soviet — there was a requisite "standing ovation" that (like a lot of crazy patriotic and religious bullshit that takes on a life of its own) endured so long that people began passing out. They clapped and clapped and clapped. Anybody who stopped first would have been branded a traitor, so the social insanity drove sycophantic adults to applaud so long they bruised their fucking hands.
That's what a slogan like this does. No, I'm not saying "Land of the free" is equal to moronic communist legislators supporting a bloodthirsty dictator — I'm saying the compulsion to buy into these social feedback loops is rooted in the same mentality. The need to be seen as being "a party guy" causes what might be smart people to repeat social garbage as if it were true just to avoid the pain of having to be honest with people.
The United States is free by almost any measure. There might be unbending idealists out there who pule about how it's not free enough or how (in their best "No True Scotsman") try to redefine free to suit their argument. But set that aside. Nobody is saying that the US is perfect, only that by how we define freedom, the US is free with some notable flaws in how the nation works and some (I will admit) serious complications in how it handles some hot-button issues. But that doesn't remove the "free" part from the US. We're free.
But we're no longer "the land of the free" because the operative word "the" no longer applies (hinting at exclusivity or near exclusivity). Canada is free. Western Europe is very free. Australia is free. Japan is free. South Korea is free. Brazil is free. South Africa is free. A lot of places are free and even some "unfree" places like China, India and Russia are still fairly free, and — without a doubt — more free than the US was when the phrase "land of the free" was coined!
So as a slogan it fails. But if you're asking "Is the US free?" The answer is "yes". The US meets almost all of the rigorous definitions of human freedom. But it no longer has a corner on the market of freedom.