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Idaho State Motto

"Esto Perpetua"

State Motto and Banner

(Let it be Perpetual)

Adopted on March 14, 1891.

Language: Latin

See Idaho State Seal

"Esto Perpetua" has been translated as: "Let it be Perpetual"

Idaho has never adopted an official state motto. Instead, the motto Esto Perpetua was accepted as an element of the adopted state seal.

The motto was incorporated in the Great Seal of the State of Idaho designed by Emma Edwards Green in 1890/91 and adopted by the first Idaho State Legislature on March 14, 1891.

This motto is attributed to venetian theologian and mathematician Pietro Sarpi (1552-1623) who, in 1623, applied it to the Republic of Venice. "Esto Perpetua", meaning (Mayest thou endure forever!), is, according to W. Francis H. King in his Classical and Foreign Quotations (J. Whitacker and Sons, Ltd., London, 1904, p. 90), supposed dying apostrophe of Pietro Sarpi (Fra Paolo) in speaking of his beloved Venice. This motto was chosen by the Grange in 1867 and by the state of Idaho in 1891.

Idaho State Motto
"Esto Perpetua"

The motto, Esto Perpetua was adopted by the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, a farm organization constituted in Washington, D.C. on December 4, 1867. The words also appear in the closing words of Jefferson Davis' History of the Confederacy (1881). It's thought that the motto's use on the Great Seal of Idaho may have been inspired by one of these sources.

IDAHO'S STATE MOTTO

Idaho's state motto, Esto Perpetua ("Let it be perpetual," or "It shall be perpetual"), was chosen shortly after Idaho was admitted to the Union in 1890, and appeared as part of the Idaho state seal designed in 1890 and 1891. The term is attributed to the noted Venetian theologian and mathematician, Pietro Sarpi (14 August 1552-14 January 1623), who applied it in 1623 to the Venetian republic. Esto Perpetua gained wide circulation in its Venetian application (A. J. Weil, Venice [London, 1894], 394; A. D. White, Seven Great Statesman [New York, 1910], 36; J. P. Trevelyan, A Short History of the Italian People [New York, 1920], 383; W. F. King, Classical and Foreign Quotations [London, 1904], 90), and came into use for a variety of other purposes. Adopted as the motto for the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry when that farm organization was constituted in Washington, D. C., December 4, 1867, Esto Perpetua also appears as the closing words (in a suggestion for the United States) in Jefferson Davis' History of the Confederacy (1881); perhaps the motto was derived for Idaho from one or both of these sources.

Esto is the emphatic form of the imperative of the Latin substantive verb esse (to be), as contrasted with the more frequently used ordinary imperative form, es. Combined with perpetua (perpetual), esto enjoins the subject of the motto to be perpetual; the construction is similar to that of the Boy Scout motto, "Be Prepared." The English expressions, "Be perpetual," "Let it be perpetual," or "It shall be perpetual" are equivalent to Esto Perpetua

IDAHO STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY REFERENCE SERIES
Number 134 Revised March 1970

Idaho Act

The law designating the official Idaho state motto is found in the Idaho Session Laws, 1890 1891, pages 215 216.

This statute describes the Idaho State Seal. The motto is specified within this description.

AN ACT PROVIDING A GREAT SEAL FOR THE STATE OF IDAHO.
WHEREAS in compliance with a concurrent resolution adopted by the legislature, a joint committee of both houses has devised and recommended a great seal for the State of Idaho, and submitted the same to the legislature for its approval. Therefore,

Be it Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
Section 1. That the design drawn and executed by Miss Emma Edwards, of Boise City, and reported and recommended by the select joint committee to devise a great seal for the State with the Latin motto "Esto Perpetua," be adopted, and is hereby made the great seal of the State of Idaho.

Approved March 14, 1891.

The law designating the official Idaho state motto is found in the Idaho Statutes, Title 59, Chapter 10, Section 59-1005.

This statute describes the Idaho State Seal. The motto is specified within this description.

TITLE 59 PUBLIC OFFICERS IN GENERAL
CHAPTER 10 MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
SECTION 59-1005 GREAT SEAL OF STATE

59-1005. GREAT SEAL OF STATE. The design drawn and executed by Miss Emma Edwards, of Boise City, and reported and recommended by the select joint committee to devise a great seal for the state, with the Latin motto "Esto Perpetua," is adopted, and is hereby made the great seal of the state of Idaho. The painting shall serve as the model as to color and form for the center of the seal. The five-pointed star in the painting shall be within a border encircling the painting. Within the border shall be the words: Great Seal of the state of Idaho. The secretary of state, with the approval of the state board of examiners, shall have designed the appropriate encircling border and wording as herein set forth and shall have the same superimposed on a fully colored reproduction of the painting. This, when completed, shall be designated as the "Official Copy" of the great seal of the state of Idaho and shall be maintained in the office of the secretary of state

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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