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New York Symbols
New York Greeting: This montage depicts three of the state's best-known attractions: the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls.

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New York State Motto

"Excelsior"

New York State Motto and Seal

(Higher)

Adopted in 1778.

Language: Latin

Focus: Progress and Prosperity

See New York State Seal

New York's state motto was adopted as an element of the arms of the state and the state seal. It was adopted in 1778.

New York uses one Latin word, Excelsior, which means Higher, as its motto. This term was first used with reference to the physical, but it has now come to include spiritual, mental, and social progress.

New York State Motto
"Excelsior"

The states with mottos that focus on the Progress and Prosperity:

  1. New York: "Excelsior"
  2. Oklahoma: "Labor omnia vincit"
  3. Utah: "Industry"

New York Law

The law designating the official New York state motto is found in the Laws of New York, State Laws, Article 6, Section 70. The motto is defined in a section of law describing the arms of the state and the state flag.

STATE LAWS.
ARTICLE 6. - (70 - 86) ARMS AND GREAT SEAL OF STATE.
SECTION 70. Description of the arms of the state and the state flag.

§ 70. Description of the arms of the state and the state flag.
The device of arms of this state, as adopted March sixteenth, seventeen hundred and seventy-eight, is hereby declared to be correctly described as follows:
Charge. Azure, in a landscape, the sun in fess, rising in splendor or, behind a range of three mountains, the middle one the highest; in base a ship and sloop under sail, passing and about to meet on a river, bordered below by a grassy shore fringed with shrubs, all proper.
Crest. On a wreath azure and or, an American eagle proper, rising to the dexter from a two-thirds of a globe terrestrial, showing the north Atlantic ocean with outlines of its shores.
Supporters. On a quasi compartment formed by the extension of the scroll.
Dexter. The figure of Liberty proper, her hair disheveled and decorated with pearls, vested azure, sandaled gules, about the waist a cincture or, fringed gules, a mantle of the last depending from the shoulders behind to the feet, in the dexter hand a staff ensigned with a Phrygian cap or, the sinister arm embowed, the hand supporting the shield at the dexter chief point, a royal crown by her sinister foot dejected.
Sinister. The figure of Justice proper, her hair disheveled and decorated with pearls, vested or, about the waist a cincture azure, fringed gules, sandaled and mantled as Liberty, bound about the eyes with a fillet proper, in the dexter hand a straight sword hilted or, erect, resting on the sinister chief point of the shield, the sinister arm embowed, holding before her her scales proper.
Motto. On a scroll below the shield argent, in sable, Excelsior.
State flag. The state flag is hereby declared to be blue, charged with the arms of the state in the colors as described in the blazon of this section.

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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