Delaware State Motto

"Liberty and Independence"

State Motto and Banner

Adopted in 1847.

Language: English

Focus: Liberty and Freedom

See Delaware State Seal

Delaware's motto, Liberty and Freedom, was added to the  state's great seal in 1847 as an expression of the ideals of American government. The Motto - was derived from the Order of Cincinnati, a hereditary organization of American Revolutionary War officers, formed in 1783, and approved in 1847.

Liberty means freedom, and independence means able to survive on your own without the control of others. These two ideas have been very important to the people of Delaware.

Delaware State Motto:
"Liberty and Independence"

Liberty and Independence was provided by the Society of the Cincinnati, a hereditary organization of American Revolutionary War officers, formed in 1783. George Washington served as its first President General, from December 1783, until his death in 1799.

These states have mottos that focus on liberty.

  1. Delaware: "Liberty and Independence"
  2. Iowa: "Our Liberties We Prize, and Our Rights We Will Maintain"
  3. Massachusetts: "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem"
    (By the Sword We Seek Peace, but Peace Only under Liberty)
  4. New Jersey: "Liberty and Prosperity"
  5. North Dakota: "Liberty and Union Now and Forever; One and Inseparable"
  6. Pennsylvania: "Virtue, Liberty, and Independence"

Delaware Law

The law designating the official Delaware state motto is found in the Delaware Code, Title 29, Chapter 3, Section 301.

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

Title 29 - State Government.
Part 1. General Provisions.

§ 301. Great Seal.

The seal now used as the Great Seal of this State and bearing the arms of this State shall be the Great Seal of this State. It is emblazoned as follows: Party per fess, or and argent, the first charged with a garb (wheat sheaf) in bend dexter and an ear of maize (Indian Corn) in bend sinister, both proper; the second charged with an ox statant, ruminating, proper; fess, wavy azure, supporters on the dexter a husbandman with a hilling hoe, on the sinister a rifleman armed and accoutred at ease. Crest, on a wreath azure and argent, a ship under full sail, proper, with the words "Great Seal of the State of Delaware," the dates "1704, 1776, and 1787," and the words "Liberty and Independence" engraved thereon.

(Code 1852, § 463; 24 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 1; Code 1915, § 387; Code 1935, § 361; 29 Del. C. 1953, § 501; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 276, § 1.)

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