Sunday, December 13, 2009

Traditional and Rejected U.S. State Mottos

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US state mottos


The wonderful mosaic which is America is composed of fifty states--which have 52 state mottos (South Carolina and Kentucky have two).

With further fanfare, here they are, broken down in three main categories.


15 States

""Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere"We Dare Defend Our Rights
ARKANSAS"Regnat populus"The People Rule
DELAWARE---"Liberty and Independence"
IOWA---"Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain"
MASSACHUSETTS"Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem"By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty
MISSISSIPPI"Virtute et armis"By valor and arms
MISSOURI"Salus populi suprema lex esto" The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law
NEW HAMPSHIRE---"Live Free or Die"
NEW JERSEY---"Liberty and Prosperity"
NORTH DAKOTA---"Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable"
PENNSYLVANIA---"Virtue, Liberty, and Independence"
SOUTH DAKOTA---"Under God the people rule"
VERMONT---"Freedom and unity"
VIRGINIA"Sic Semper Tyrannis"Thus Always to Tyrants
WEST VIRGINIA"Montani semper liberi"Mountaineers are always free

5 States

ARIZONA---"God enriches"
COLORADO"Nil Sine Numine"Nothing Without the Deity
FLORIDA---"In God We Trust"
KENTUCKY"Deo gratiam habeamus""Let us be grateful to God"
OHIO---"With God, all things are possible"


30 States

ALASKA---"North to the Future"
CONNECTICUT"Qui Transtulit Sustinet"He who transplanted continues to sustain
CALIFORNIA"Eureka""I have found it
GEORGIA---"Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation"
"Agriculture and Commerce"
HAWAII"Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono""The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness"
IDAHO"Esto Perpetua""Let it be Perpetual"
ILLINOIS---"State Sovereignty; National Union"
INDIANA---"The Crossroads of America"
KANSAS"Ad Astra Per Aspera""To the Stars Through Difficulties"
KENTUCKYEnglish motto"United We Stand, Divided We Fall"
LOUISIANA---"Union, Justice, Confidence"
MAINE"Dirigo""I Direct" (or I Guide)
MARYLAND"Fatti Maschii Parole Femine""manly deeds, womanly words"
MICHIGAN"Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice""If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."
MINNESOTA"L'Etoile du nord""The star of the north"
MONTANA"Oro y plata""Gold and Silver"
NEBRASKA---"Equality Before the Law"
NEVADA---"All for our country"
NEW MEXICO"Crescit eundo""It grows as it goes"
NEW YORK"Excelsior""Ever Upward"
NORTH CAROLINA"Esse quam videri""To be, rather than to seem"
OKLAHOMA"Labor omnia vincit""Labor conquers all things"
OREGON"Alis Volat Propiis""She Flies With Her Own Wings"
SOUTH CAROLINA"Animis Opibusque Parati""Prepared in mind and resources"
SOUTH CAROLINA"Dum Spiro Spero""While I breathe, I hope"
TENNESSEE---"Agriculture and Commerce"
WASHINGTON"Al-ki or Alki""Bye and Bye" or "Hope for the Future"
WYOMING---"Equal Rights"

[ABOVE: Census map of US; mostly unrelated to this article.]

Some Rejected State Mottos

We found these at Do you like your state motto?

Alabama: Yes, we really do have electricity.

Alaska: Yeah, But It's a Dry Cold.

Arizona: But It's a Dry Heat

Arkansas: Literacy Ain't Everything

California: By 30, Our Women Have More Plastic Than Your Honda

Colorado: If You Don't Ski, Don't Bother

Connecticut: Like Massachusetts, Only The Kennedys Don't Own It Yet

Delaware: We Really Do Like The Chemicals In Our Water

Florida: Ask Us About Our Grandkids

Georgia: We Put The "Fun" In Fundamentalist Extremism

Hawaii: Haka Tiki Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru (Death To Mainland Scum, But Leave Your Money)

Idaho: More Than Just Potatoes. Well Okay, Not Really, But The Potatoes Sure Are Real Good

Illinois: Please Don't Pronounce the "S"

Indiana: 2 Billion Years Tidal Wave Free

Iowa: We Do Amazing Things with Corn

Kansas: First of the Rectangle States

Kentucky: Five Million People; Fifteen Last Names

Louisiana: We're Not ALL Drunk Cajun Wackos, but That's Our Tourism Campaign

Maine: We're Really Cold, but We Have Cheap Lobster

Maryland: If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It

Massachusetts: Our Taxes are Lower Than Sweden's

Michigan: First Line of Defense From the Canadians

Minnesota: 10,000 Lakes And 10,000,000,000,000 Mosquitoes

The other 27 states at the link. Not included are personal favorites for Wisconsin: "Eat Cheese or Die"; and, Florida: "The Plywood State".

There's also a lot more rejected state mottos at Top 276 Rejected State Mottos, where the reader will find these gems:

* Maryland: We've got crabs!
* California: The cereal State: nothing but fruits, nuts and flakes
* Maryland The Other Alabama
* Michigan: Home of Hell
* West Virginia: Mountains, Rednecks and Football!

This is probably more than readers wanted to know about accepted and rejected state mottos, but it's a slow news day.

by Mondo Frazier
* US Official State Mottos
* List of U.S. state and territory mottos

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