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Washington State Motto

"Al-ki or Alki"

Washington Territorial Seal

(Bye and Bye)

(Hope for the Future)

Adopted in (an official motto has not been recognized by Washington state legislature). .

Language: Native American

Focus: Progress and Prosperity

Washington's territorial motto is Alki , or "Bye and Bye"(an official motto has not been recognized by Washington state legislature).

Alki (or Al-ki) is an Indian word which means "bye and bye." The motto was originally used on the territorial seal which on one side displays an immigrant wagon and a log cabin with a fir forest background; the other side pictures an anchor and the Goddess of Hope in the center (the goddess points at the word "Alki"), a sheet of water in the background with a sailing vessel, a steamer, and a city in perspective.

Early settlers from the schooner Exact named their settlement on Alki Point "New York." However, as the settlement was slower to grow than the east coast NY, the name was changed to "New York-Alki" (the 1850s term for "bye and bye" or "I will see you, bye and bye").

Washington State Motto
"Al-ki" or "Alki"

Al-ki or Alki, a Chinook Indian word meaning "bye and bye" or "hope for the future." This motto first appeared on the territorial seal designed by Lt. J.K. Duncan of Gov. Stevens' surveying expedition. On one side it pictures a log cabin and an immigrant wagon with a fir forest in the background; on the other side, a sheet of water being traversed by a steamer and sailing vessel, a city in perspective; the Goddess of Hope and an anchor is in the center. The figure points at the significant word "Alki." Settlers from the schooner Exact named their settlement on Alki Point, New York. The new settlement was slower to grow than its East Coast counterpart, however, so the name was changed to New York-Alki, meaning "into the future" - the 1850s version of the term "bye and bye" or, "I will see you, bye and bye."

This motto recalls early settlers' dreams that Seattle might become another New York City eventually, or "bye and bye.")

Washington Law

There is no law designating the official Washington state motto as an official motto recognized by Washington state legislature, however the Washington state seal display the motto "Alki." See Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 1.20 Section 1.20.080

Chapter 1.20 RCW

State seal.

The seal of the state of Washington shall be, a seal encircled with the words: "The Seal of the State of Washington," with the vignette of General George Washington as the central figure, and beneath the vignette the figures "1889" and shall be composed as appears in the illustration below:

(RCW 1.20.080 - Illustration: State Seal)

(For the illustration, please refer to paperback RCW.)

[1967 ex.s. c 65 § 1.]


Mottos of the States
What your Motto? US Official State Mottos
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.