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Arkansas State Motto
(The People Rule)
Adopted in 1907.
"Regnat populus" has been translated as: "The People Rule." A 1907 act changed the motto to its current
language from "Regnant Populi," the motto selected in 1864. The exact origin of this motto is somewhat obscure.
In the lower half of the circle of the Seal; inscribed "Regnat Populus", a bundle of arrows in one claw and an olive branch in the other;
There are three states with mottos that focus on the people:
- Arkansas: "The People Rule"
- Missouri: "The Welfare of the People"
- South Dakota "Under God the People Rule"
Arkansas Code (Non annotated), Title 1, Chapter 4, Section 1-4-107.
Title 1. General Provisions.
Chapter 4. State Symbols, Motto, Etc.
1-4-107. State motto.
The motto of the State of Arkansas shall be "Regnat Populus".
History. Acts 1907, No. 395, § 1, p. 987; C. & M. Dig., § 9181; Pope's Dig., § 11866; A.S.A. 1947, § 5-103.
The updated Latin is illustrated below in this current description of the Arkansas State Seal provided in the
Arkansas Legislature Archives
1-4-108. Official seals.
(a) It shall be the duty of the Governor to procure a seal for
the State of Arkansas, which shall present the following impressions,
devices, and emblems, to wit: An eagle at the bottom, holding a scroll
in its beak, inscribed "Regnat Populus", a bundle of arrows in one claw
and an olive branch in the other; a shield covering the breast of the
eagle, engraved with a steamboat at top, a beehive and plow in the middle,
and sheaf of wheat at the bottom; the Goddess of Liberty at the top,
holding a wreath in her right hand, a pole in the left hand, surmounted
by a liberty cap, and surrounded by a circle of stars outside of which
is a circle of rays; the figure of an angel on the left, inscribed "Mercy",
and a sword on the right hand, inscribed "Justice", surrounded with
the words "Seal of the State of Arkansas".
(b) The Secretary of State, Auditor of State, and Treasurer of State
shall each have a seal of office presenting the impressions, devices,
and emblems presented by the Seal of State except that the surrounding
words on the Secretary of State's seal shall be "Seal of the Secretary
of State, Arkansas", on the Auditor of State's seal shall be "Seal of
the Auditor of State, Arkansas", and on the Treasurer of State's seal
shall be "Seal of the Treasurer of State, Arkansas".
(c) All official seals used in the state shall present the same impressions,
emblems, and devices presented by the Seal of State, except that the
surrounding words shall be such as to indicate the office to which each
History. Acts 1864, No. 1, §§ 1-3, p. 31; C. & M. Dig., §§ 2096, 9142-9144;
Pope's Dig., §§ 2700, 11804-11806; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 5-104 - 5-106.
While updating the the Latin for seal, Section 1-4-107 was inserted in the Code of Arkansas designating Regnat Populus
as the official state motto.
Mottos of the States
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.