In God We Trust- USA's motto since 1956
This map shows the indivual states motto's. English is the favourite language for the mottos; however, only 24 state mottos are originally in English. Latin, once the language for all solemn occacions (and not just exorcisms), accounts for 20. Two mottos are in native languages, and French, Spanish, Italian and Greek account for one each.
A Few State Motto's:
Alabama: Audemus jura nostra defendre (We dare defend our rights) Latin, 1923
Marie Bankhead Owen found the phrase in a poem; Alabama has a rich history of defending and maintaining rights. During the Civil War, Alabama fought valiantly to maintain individual states' rights. Later, in the 1960's during the Civil Rights movement, some of the most important events happened here. Rosa Parks' famous bus boycott happened in Montgomery, the capital of Alabama. Birmingham, one of the most segregated cities in the south in 1963, elected their first African-American mayor only 15 years later. It was not always easy, but the citizens of this state fought for and maintained personal rights.
Alaska: North To The Future, English, 1976
Alaska's state motto reflects optimism and promise for a better future. It is one of the last true frontiers in the United States and today still holds promise for those wanting a unique life. In fact, "North to the Future" may be our hope in this economy today as Alaska is rich in energy resources such as oil.
California: Eureka (I have found it) Greek, 1963
The words were probably intended to refer to the discovery of gold in California. In 1957, attempts were made to establish "In God We Trust" as the state motto, but "Eureka" was made the official state motto in 1963.
Maine: Dirigo (I lead), Latin, 1820
'I lead' is the state motto of Maine, having once been the only state to hold its elections in September. (Politicians kept their eyes on these elections for evidence of a trend. Prior to the New Deal, Republicans claimed "As Maine goes, so goes the nation")
Minnesota: L'Etoile du Nord (The Star of the North), French,
L'Étoile du Nord is a French phrase meaning "The Star of the North." It is the motto of the US state of Minnesota. It was chosen by the state's first governor, Henry Hastings Sibley, and was adopted in 1861, three years after admission of Minnesota to the union. Because of this motto, one of Minnesota's nicknames is The North Star State.
Wyoming: Equal Rights, English, 1893
Wyoming's motto represents that this state was the first to allow woman's vote in America. It also was the first state that gave women the right to hold public office.