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California State MottoState Motto and Banner


(I have found it)

Adopted in 1963.

Originator: Major Robert Selden Garnett, 1849

Language: Greek

Focus: Minerals

See California State Seal

"Eureka" has been translated as: "I have found it." The great seal of California, first designed in 1849, included this Greek motto to signify either the admission of the state into the Union or a miner's success. The words were probably intended to refer to the discovery of referring to the momentous discovery of gold near Sutter's Mill in 1848. Archimedes, the famed Greek mathematician, is said to have exclaimed "Eureka!" when, after long study, he discovered a method of determining the purity of gold. In 1957, attempts were made to establish "In God We Trust" as the state motto, but "Eureka" was made the official state motto in 1963.

California State Motto

California's motto is the only state motto rendered in Greek.

It was included as an element of the Great Seal of the State of California when it was designed in 1849. The seal was designed by Major Robert Selden Garnett of the U. S. Army and adopted in 1849 at the California Constitutional Convention in Monterey.

There are two states with mottos that focus on minerals and wealth:

  1. California: "Eureka" (I Have Found It)
  2. Montana: "Oro y Plata" (Gold and Silve)

California Codes, Government Code, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 420.5.


420.5 "Eureka" is the official State Motto.

California Codes and Statutes
Government Code - GOV
Title 1
Division 2
Chapter 4
SECTION 399-405

399. (a) There shall be a seal of this state, which shall be called
"the Great Seal of the State of California."
(b) The Great Seal of the state shall be used by the Governor

400. The design of the Great Seal of the State shall correspond
substantially with the following representation thereof:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

appears in the hard-copy publication of the chaptered bill.
See Chapter 134, page 902, Statutes of 1943.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
401. Any document signed prior to August 27, 1937, by the Governor,
the Secretary of State, or both of them and bearing an impression
purporting to be an impression of the Great Seal of the State has the
same validity as if the impression thereon were an impression of the
Great Seal of the State, whether or not it be in fact the impression
of the Great Seal of the State.

402. (a) Every person who maliciously or for commercial purposes
uses or allows to be used any reproduction or facsimile of the Great
Seal of the State in any manner whatsoever is guilty of a
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the Great Seal of the State
may be used for commercial purposes by the Golden State Museum Store
located at 1020 O Street in Sacramento, and by the Capitol Bookstore
and Gift Shop located in the rotunda of the restored State Capitol
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the California
Sesquicentennial Commission may enter into an agreement to use the
Great Seal of the State for officially sanctioned products of the
California Sesquicentennial celebration as approved by the
commission. The funds received from these sales shall revert to the
California Sesquicentennial Foundation and be used only for official
Sesquicentennial celebration purposes.

402.5. (a) In addition to the acts prohibited by Section 402, a
person who uses or allows to be used any reproduction or facsimile of
the Great Seal of the State in any campaign literature or mass
mailing, as defined in Section 82041.5, with intent to deceive the
voters, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) For purposes of this section, the use of a reproduction or
facsimile of a seal in a manner that creates a misleading, erroneous,
or false impression that the document is authorized by a public
official is evidence of intent to deceive.

403. All grants and commissions shall be kept in the name and by
the authority of the people of the State of California, sealed with
the Great Seal of the state, signed by the Governor, and
countersigned by the Secretary of State.

404. (a) No person shall represent, either directly or indirectly,
that the State of California is sponsoring or endorsing a world's
fair or exhibition unless the representation has been specifically
authorized by law. Violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
(b) The Board of Directors of the California Exposition and State
Fair and its employees, as directed by the board, Members of the
California State Legislature, and constitutional officers shall be
exempt from the provisions of subdivision (a).

405. When the Great Seal of the state is prepared in color, the
following colors shall be used:
The field of the seal shall be Independence Blue, Cable No. 70076;
the outer circle shall be Golden Poppy, Cable No. 70071; the 31
stars and the words "Eureka" and "The Great Seal of the State of
California" shall be white; the two circles bordering the words shall
be Spanish Yellow, Cable No. 70068; the mountains shall be shades of
Orchid, Cable No. 70133, and Amethyst, Cable No. 70134; the water
shall be Grotto Blue, Cable No. 70022; the ships shall be
Independence Blue, Cable No. 70076, and white; the smoke of the
steamboat shall be Independence Blue, Cable No. 70076; the terrain
shall be shades of Oakwood, Cable No. 70094, and Cork, Cable No.
70092; the miner's shirt and pick shall be Plum, Cable No. 70135; the
rocker, bowl, and shovel shall be Golden Poppy, Cable No. 70071; the
face and arms of Goddess Minerva and of the miner shall be Ecru,
Cable No. 70103; the helmet and breastplate of Minerva shall be
Robins Egg, Cable No. 70204; the dress of Minerva shall be white; the
robe of Minerva and the pants of the miner shall be Cardinal, Cable
No. 70081; the shield of Minerva and the sheaf of wheat shall be
Spanish Yellow, Cable No. 70068 and Oakwood, Cable No. 70094; the
spear of Minerva shall be Oakwood, Cable No. 70094 and the tip white;
the vine shall be Spring Green, Cable No. 70061; the grass shall be
Irish Green, Cable No. 70168; the bear shall be in colors as set
forth in Section 420.
All white shall be Cable No. 70001.
All Cable number colors herein specified are those of the Textile
Color Card Association of the United States, Inc., New York.

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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