Monday, February 8, 2010

State Mottos

I never knew we had such a weird state motto! As far as I can tell, it translates roughly to, "Okay, laters." Which actually somehow seems very appropriate for Washington, if not particularly inspiring:

" 'Bye and Bye' (Al-ki or Alki) Washington's territorial motto is Alki , or 'Bye and Bye' (an official motto has not been recognized by Washington state legislature).

"Alki (or Al-ki) is an Indian word which means "bye and bye." The motto was originally used on the territorial seal which on one side displays an immigrant wagon and a log cabin with a fir forest background; the other side pictures an anchor and the Goddess of Hope in the center (the goddess points at the word "Alki"), a sheet of water in the background with a sailing vessel, a steamer, and a city in perspective.

"Early settlers from the schooner Exact named their settlement on Alki Point "New York." However, as the settlement was slower to grow than the east coast NY, the name was changed to "New York-Alki" (the 1850s term for "bye and bye" or "I will see you, bye and bye")."

Below, a comprehensive list of all of the state mottos. I like Texas's--"Friendship"--it's sweet. Oklahoma's ("Labor conquers all things") sounds a little too much like "Work will set you free" for my liking--creepy. Ohio and South Dakota: you are lame. I like North Carolina's ("To be, rather than to seem")--it's kind of intellectual. Also, it reminds me of "Don't dream it, be it" from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Probably not what they intended, but I like it.

Obviously, New Hampshire's slogan kicks ass. "Live Free or Die"--it's so intense, and what's more, they really mean it. Montana--"Gold and Silver"--refreshingly honest. You gots the gold fever! But...New York?? "Excelsior"? I don't get it. Also confusing me--Idaho--"Let it be perpetual"?? Is that like a stoner thing?

Finally, Michigan. You...are...adorable!:

Alabama: We Dare Defend our Rights(Audemus jura nostra defendere)
Alaska:North to the Future
Arizona: God Enriches (Ditat Deus)
Arkansas: The People Rule (Regnat populus)
California: Eureka ... I have found it!
Colorado: Nothing without the Deity (Nil sine Numine )
Connecticut: He who is transplanted still sustains(Qui transtulit sustinet)
Delaware: Liberty and Independence
Florida: In God We Trust
Georgia: Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation
Hawaii: Ua mau ke ea o ka aina I ka pono(The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness)
Idaho: Let it be Perpetual (Esto perpetua)
Illinois: State Sovereignty, National Union
Indiana: The Crossroads of America
Iowa: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain
Kansas: To the stars through difficulties(Ad astra per aspera)
Kentucky: United we stand, divided we fall
Louisiana: Union, Justice, and Confidence
Maine: I direct (Dirigo)
Maryland: Manly deeds womanly words(Fatti maschil parole femine)
Massachusetts: By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty (Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem)
Michigan: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you (Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice)
Minnesota: The star of the north (L'Etoile du nor)
Mississippi: By valor and arms (Virtute et armis)
Missouri: The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law (Salus populi suprema lex esto)
Montana: Gold and Silver (Oro y plata)
Nebraska: Equality before the law
Nevada: All for our country
New Hampshire: Live free or die
New Jersey: Liberty and Prosperity
New Mexico: It grows as it goes (Crescit eundo)
New York: Excelsior
North Carolina: To be, rather than to seem (Esse quam videri)
North Dakota: Liberty and Union Now and Forever, One and Inseparable
Ohio: With God, all things are possible
Oklahoma: Labor conquers all things (Labor omnia vincit)
Oregon: She Flies With Her Own Wings (Alis Volat Propiis)
Pennsylvania: Virtue, Liberty, and Independence
Rhode Island: Hope
South Carolina: Prepared in mind and resources /While I breathe, I hope
South Dakota: Under God the people rule
Tennessee: Agriculture and Commerce
Texas: Friendship
Utah: Industry
Vermont: Freedom and Unity
Virginia: Thus Always to Tyrants(Sic Semper Tyrannis)
Washington: Bye and Bye (Alki)
West Virginia: Mountaineers are always free (Montani semper liberi)
Wisconsin: Forward
Wyoming: Equal rights


  1. You'd think Virginia would drop theirs after John Wilkes Booth...but I guess that's just Virginia being Virginia.

  2. Ohhhh! There's that "A Student Time Traveler" in you coming out! Did JWB shoot Lincoln? What's the connection with the motto?

    B- Time Traveler :P

  3. I'm going to pretend you're kidding!

  4. I'm not kidding! There was a play, and JWB was a crazy guy who shot Lincoln. That's about all I know about it.

    ...Hey, I had a lot going on at that time, I was studying for my drivers permit and about to take the SATs. Stop yelling at me! :D