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US Official State Mottos

The National Motto and Mottos of the Fifty-States

What your Motto? US Official State Mottos

A motto (from the Italian word motto, meaning witticism, sentence) is a phrase meant to formally describe the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottos of governments.

All of the United States' 50 states have a state motto, as do the District of Columbia and three US territories. A motto is a phrase meant to formally describe the general motivation or intention of an organization. State mottos can sometimes be found on state seals or state flags. Some states have officially designated a state motto by an act of the state legislature, whereas other states have the motto only as an element of their seals.

The motto of the United States itself is In God We Trust, proclaimed by Congress and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 30, 1956. The motto E Pluribus Unum (Latin for "One from many") was approved for use on the Great Seal of the United States in 1782, but was never adopted as the national motto through legislative action.

South Carolina has two official mottos, both of which are in Latin. Kentucky and North Dakota also have two mottos, one in Latin and the other in English. All other states and territories have only one motto, except Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, which do not have any mottos. English and Latin are the most-used languages for state mottos, used by 25 and 24 states and territories, respectively. Seven states and territories use another language, of which each language is only used once. Eight states and two territories have their mottos on their state quarter; thirty-eight states and four territories have their mottos on their state seals.

State Mottos of the Fifty-States

Motto Histories

State Mottos Listing

Alabama Motto
Mar 14, 1939
"Audemus jura nostra defendere"
(We Dare Maintain Our Rights)
or
(We Dare Defend Our Rights)
Alaska Motto
1967
"North to the Future"
-
Arizona Motto
1864
"Ditat Deus"
(God enriches)
Arkansas Motto
1907
"Regnat populus"
(The people rule)
California Motto
1963
"Eureka"
(I have found it)
Colorado Motto
1877
"Nil Sine Numine"
(Nothing Without the Deity)
Connecticut Motto
1784
"Qui Transtulit Sustinet"
(He Who Transplanted Still Sustains)
Delaware Motto
1847
"Liberty and Independence"
-
DC Motto
1871
"Justitia Omnibus"
(Justice to all)
Florida Motto
1868; Jul 1, 2006
"In God We Trust"
-
Georgia Motto
1799; 1914; 1776
1."Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation"
2. "Agriculture and commerce"
Hawaii Motto
1843
"Ua mau ke ea o ka aina I ka pono"
(The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness)
Idaho Motto
1891
"Esto Perpetua"
(Let it be Perpetual)
Illinois Motto
1818; 1868
"Sovereignty; National Union"
-
Indiana Motto
1937
"The Crossroads of America"
-
Iowa Motto
1847
"Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain"
-
Kansas Motto
May 25, 1861
"Ad astra per aspera"
(To the Stars Through Difficulties)
Kentucky Motto
Dec 20, 1792
1. "United We Stand, Divided We Fall"
-
Kentucky Latin Motto
2002
2. "Deo gratiam habeamus"
(Let us be grateful to God)
Louisiana Motto
Apr 30, 1902.
"Union, Justice, and Confidence"
-
Maine Motto
1820
"Dirigo"
(I lead)
Maryland Motto
1776
"Fatti maschii parole femine"
(manly deeds, womanly words) or (strong deeds, gentle words)
Massachusetts Motto
1885
"Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem"
(By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty)
Michigan Motto
1835
"Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice"
(If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.)
Minnesota Motto
1861
"L'Etoile du nord "
(The star of the north)
Mississippi Motto
1894
"Virtute et armis"
(By valor and arms)
Missouri Motto
1822
"Salus populi suprema lex esto"
(The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law)
Montana Motto
1865
"Oro y Plata"
(gold and silver)
Nebraska Motto
1867
"Equality before the law"
-
Nevada Motto
1886
"All for Our Country"
-
New Hampshire Motto
1809
"Live Free or Die"
-

New Jersey Motto
1777
"Liberty and Prosperity"
-
New Mexico Motto
1887
"Crescit eundo"
(It grows as it goes)
New York Motto
1778
"Excelsior"
-
North Carolina Motto
1893
"Esse quam videri"
(To be, rather than to seem)
North Dakota Motto
1889
"Liberty and Union Now and Forever;
One and Inseparable
"
(Serit ut alteri saeclo prosit)
Ohio Motto
1959
"With God all things are possible"

Oklahoma Motto
1907
"Labor Omnia Vincit"
(Labor Conquers All Things)
Oregon Motto
1987
"She Flies with Her Own Wings"
-
Pennsylvania Motto
1875
"Virtue, Liberty, and Independence"
-
Rhode Island Motto "Hope"
-
South Carolina Motto
1776
"Animis Opibusque Parati"
(Prepared in mind and resources)

 "Dum Spiro Spero"
(While I breathe, I hope)

South Dakota Motto
1885
"Liberty and Union Now and Forever; One and Inseparable"
-
Tennessee Motto
1987
"Agriculture and Commerce"
-
Texas Motto
1930
"Friendship"
-

Utah Motto
1959
"Industry"
-

Vermont Motto
1779
"Freedom and Unity"
-
Virginia Motto
1776
"Sic Semper Tyrannis"
(Thus Always to Tyrants)
Washington Motto "Al-ki" or "Alki"
(
bye and bye)
West Virginia Motto
1863
"Montani semper liberi"
(
Mountaineers are always free)
Wisconsin Motto
1851
"Forward"
-

Wyoming Motto
1955
"Equal Rights"
-
United States Motto
1956
"In God We Trust"
-
Mottos of the States
Motto: "United we stand, divided we fall" is a phrase that has been used in mottos, from nations and states to songs. The basic concept is that unless the people are united, they will be defeated. It is often used in the abbreviated form United we stand
State motto is a word, phrase, or sentence inscribed on or attached to a coin, building, or other object. The motto states an important idea for a group of people within the state.
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