Nebraska State Motto

"Equality Before the Law"

Nrebraska Motto and Seal

Adopted in 1867.

Language: English

Focus: Equal Rights

See Nebraska Sate Seal

Nebraska's motto is not an official Motto, as such, but is accepted as an element of its official seal. The Nebraska state motto "Equality Before the Law" appears on the state flag and the great seal. The Nebraska Constitution provides for a state seal that is to be kept by the secretary of state and used by him or her officially as directed by law.

The Nebraska motto encapsulates the belief that every individual has an irrefutable right to freedom and equality irrelevant of status and religious convictions.

The Nebraska state motto 'Equality Before the Law' was adopted in 1867 and appears on both the state flag and the state seal.

Nebraska State Motto
"Equality Before the Law"

There are three states with mottos that focus on rights:

  1. Alabama: "Audemus jura nostra defendere" (We Dare Maintain Our Rights)
  2. Nebraska: "Equality Before the Law"
  3. Wyoming: "Equal Rights"

Nebraska Law

The law designating the official Nebraska state motto is found in the Nebraska Statutes, Chapter 84, Section 84-501.

This statute describes the Nebraska seal. The motto is specified within this description.


Secretary of State; Great Seal; custodian.

The Secretary of State shall safely keep and not suffer to be imitated or counterfeited the Great Seal of the State of Nebraska of the form and design prescribed by the Act approved June 15, 1867, as follows:

Laws 1867, § 1, p. 57; R.S.1913, § 5569; C.S.1922, § 4873; C.S.1929, § 84-501. Note: Section 1 of the act of 1867 is as follows: "Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska, That the Secretary of State be, and he is hereby authorized and required to procure, at the cost and expense of the state, and as soon after the passage of this act as practicable, a seal for the state, to be designated and known as the Great Seal of the State of Nebraska, and of the design and device following, that is to say: The eastern part of the circle to be represented by a steamboat ascending the Missouri river; the mechanic arts to be represented by a smith with hammer and anvil; in the foreground, agriculture to be represented by a settler's cabin, sheaves of wheat and stalks of growing corn; in the background a train of cars heading towards the Rocky Mountains, and on the extreme west, the Rocky Mountains to be plainly in view; around the top of this circle to be in capital letters, the motto. 'EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW,' and the circle to be surrounded with the words, 'Great Seal of the State of Nebraska, March 1st, 1867.' "

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