The Meaning Behind Every U.S. State Motto

The Meaning Behind Every U.S. State Motto

A good state motto should make a big statement, encapsulating its ideals and its essence. Does your state's motto reflect its true story?

Alabama: Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere

01_Alabama5W Infographics for Readers Digest, rd.com

Latin for "We dare maintain our rights," the motto was meant to "interpret the spirit of our peoples in a terse and energetic sentence," said Marie Bankhead Owen in 1939, when she was director of Alabama's state archives. Owen was the one who came up with the motto after finding the sentiment in an 18th-century poem by Sir William Jones called "What Constitutes a State?" The full quote it was taken from reads: "Men who their duties know, but know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain." The motto was then translated into Latin by a professor from the University of Alabama. Looking for more U.S. trivia? Here are more astonishing facts you never know about the 50 states.

Arizona: Ditat Deus

02_Arizona5W Infographics for Readers Digest, rd.com

Arizona's state motto translates from Latin to "God enriches," and therein lies a land mine. While no one is disputing that this should be Arizona's motto, there's been a battle afoot to keep the motto out of public-school classrooms. It's not the word God that offends people who have an issue. They object to the fact that it implies that God is active in our affairs, rather than just being someone "we trust" (as in "In God We Trust").

Alaska: North to the Future

03_Alaska5W Infographics for Readers Digest, rd.com

Alaska's motto, "North to the Future," was created by Richard Peter, a newsman from Juneau, Alaska. It's meant to represent Alaska as a land of promise, and it was adopted in 1967 during the 100th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase. If you're thinking of relocating, you might want to consider this state. Believe it or not, Alaska will pay you more than $1,000 a year to live there.

The Meaning Behind Every U.S. State Motto, Source:https://www.rd.com/culture/meaning-behind-every-state-motto/

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