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West Virginia State Motto

"Montani semper liberi"

State Motto and Seal of West Virginia

(Mountaineers are always free)

Adopted in 1863 .

Language: Latin

Focus: Liberty and Freedom

See West Virginia State Seal

"West Virginia's state motto,  "Montani semper liberi," was adopted as an element of its official seal.

Adopted in 1863,  the phrase was suggested as the motto by Joseph H. Diss Debar, the artist who created the state's Great Seal.

West Virginia State Motto
"Montani semper liberi"

Montani Semper Liberi (Latin for "Mountaineers are Always Free") is the official motto of the state of West Virginia, USA. (It is also part of the coat of arms for the Colombian city of Bucaramanga.) It was adopted as the official motto of West Virginia in Article II, Section 2-7, of the state constitution signed in 1872. This article specifically states: "[t]he present seal of the state, with its motto, "Montani Semper Liberi," shall be the great seal of the state of West Virginia, and shall be kept by the secretary of state, to be used by him officially, as directed by law".

The motto of West Virginia is Montani Semper Liberi, meaning Mountaineers are always freemen. It has no literary origin of note.

The motto is also used on the coat of arms for Bucaramanga in Colombia

West Virginia Constitution

The law designating the official West Virginia state motto is found in the West Virginia Constitution, Article 2, Section 2-7.

Article II. The State.
SECTION 2-7.

2-7. "Montani Semper Liberi" - State seal. The present seal of the state, with its motto, "Montani Semper Liberi," shall be the great seal of the state of West Virginia, and shall be kept by the secretary of state, to be used by him officially, as directed by law.

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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