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Louisiana State Motto
"Union, Justice, Confidence"
Adopted on April 30, 1902
Focus: Justice and Union vs. State
The description of the seal included the motto, Union, Justice, Confidence. This seal was adopted on April 30, 1902.
It's not known how the motto was determined, but Governor Heard considered these three words to be most important aspects of statehood. The meaning behind the motto may be recognized in the official State Pledge of Allegiance, adopted in 1981 and recorded in the Louisiana Revised Statutes.
These state have mottos that reference justice:
- Georgia: "Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation"
- Louisiana: "Union, justice, and confidence"
These state have mottos that reference the union:
- Illinois: "State Sovereignty; National Union"
- Kentucky: "United We Stand, Divided We Fall"
- Louisiana: "Union, Justice, and Confidence"
- Nevada: "All for Our Country"
- North Dakota: "Liberty and Union Now and Forever; One and Inseparable"
- Vermont: "Freedom and Unity"
The Louisiana Revised Statutes specify that the Governor of the State of Louisiana shall determine the design
of the official state seal. In 1902, in order to standardize a design for the seal, Governor William Wright
Heard instructed the Secretary of State to use a seal described as:
"A Pelican, with its head turned to the left, in nest with three young; the Pelican, following the tradition
in act of tearing its breast to feed its young; around the edge of the seal to be inscribed 'State of
Louisiana'. Over head of the Pelican to be inscribed 'Union, Justice', and under the Pelican to be
The description of the seal included the motto, Union, Justice, Confidence. This seal was adopted on April
Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 49, Part 8, Section 49:167.
TITLE 49 — State administration
RS 49:167 State pledge of allegiance
§167. State pledge of allegiance There shall be a state pledge of allegiance, to read as follows:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the state of Louisiana and to the motto for which it stands: A state, under God,
united in purpose and ideals, confident that justice shall prevail for all of those abiding here."
Added by Acts 1981, No. 711, §1
Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 49, Part 8, Section 49:151.
TITLE 49 — State administration
RS 49:151 — State seal
Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 49:151
PART VIII. STATE SYMBOLS AND DISPLAY OF FLAGS
§151. State seal
A. There shall be a public seal, which shall include the pelican tearing its breast to feed its young, for the purpose of authenticating the acts of the government of the
state of Louisiana.
B. The Secretary of State shall be keeper, and shall affix the public seal to all official acts, the laws alone excepted.
C. The design of the seal depicting the pelican tearing at its breast to feed its young shall include an appropriate display of three drops of blood. No state agency shall
discard or otherwise dispose of flags, stationery, or any other device that depicts the state seal to accomplish the purposes of this Section, but shall take the
appropriate actions to implement the new depiction of the state seal. Nothing in this Section shall preclude the secretary of state from utilizing the new design of the
seal in conducting the ordinary business of the state.
Acts 2006, No. 92, §1.
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.