List of State Mottos

Connecticut's flag displaying the state's motto.
Connecticut's flag displaying the state's motto.

A motto is a phrase that expresses a purpose or belief. It describes the intention or general motivation of an organization or a group. All the states in the US have a motto that appears on state flags, state seals, buildings, or coins. Some states only have mottos on their seals while other states have made their mottos official through a legislature. Below is a list of all state mottos. 

Select State Mottos


The Alabama state motto is "We dare to defend our rights." It was approved in March 1939 and reflected the state’s history in the War of Independence and the role Alabama played in the American civil war.


The Alaska state motto is "North to the Future." The motto reflects the northern position of the state and the excitement of future possibilities. It was coined by Richard Peters, a journalist who won the competition to design a state slogan in 1963.


The motto for the state of Illinois is "State Sovereignty and national union." The motto reflects the independent nature of Illinois and the strength that comes with being part of a union.


The state motto is "Manly deeds, womanly words". It came from the Calvert family who was among the initial colonizers of Maryland.


The state motto of Nevada is "All for our country" which reflects the patriotism of the people of Nevada. It also harkens to the War of Independence as well as the role the state had in the American Civil War. The motto is part of the Great Seal and the flag.

New York

The state motto is expressed as "Excelsior!" in Latin which means "Ever Upward!" The motto reflects the hopes and attitude of the people of the state of New York after the War of Independence.


The state motto of Texas is "Friendship." The motto was adopted in 1950 and is related to the word "Texas," which itself comes from the word "tejas", which means "friend" in the Hasinais and Caddo Indigenous languages. 

Languages Used For Mottos

Some of the states have two mottos, including South Carolina which has both its mottos in Latin and North Dakota and Kentucky which both have one in Latin and one in English. The rest of the territories and states only have one motto. The languages used the most in state mottos are English and Latin. 

List of State Mottos

AlabamaWe dare defend our rights!
AlaskaNorth to the future
ArizonaGod enriches
ArkansasThe people rule
CaliforniaI have found it
ColoradoNorthing without the Deity
ConnecticutHe who is transplanted still sustains
DelawareLiberty and Independence
District of ColumbiaJustice for All
FloridaIn God we trust
GeorgiaWisdom, justice, and moderation
HawaiiThe life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.
IdahoLet it be perpetual
IllinoisState sovereignty, national union
Indiana The crossroads of America
IowaOur liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain
KansasTo the stars through difficulties
KentuckyLet us be grateful to God
LouisianaUnion, justice, and confidence
MaineI lead
MarylandManly deeds, womanly words
MassachusettsBy the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty
MichiganIf you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you
MinnesotaThe star of the north
MississippiBy valor and arms
MissouriLet the welfare of the people be the supreme law
MontanaGold and silver
NebraskaEquality before the law
New HampshireLive free or die
New JerseyLiberty and prosperity
New MexicoIt grows as it goes
New YorkEver upward
North CarolinaTo be, rather than to seem
North DakotaOne sows for the benefit of another age
North DakotaLiberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable
OhioWith God, all things are possible
OklahomaLabor conquers all thins
OregonShe flies with her own wings
PennsylvaniaVirtue, liberty, and independence
Rhode IslandHope
South CarolinaWhile I breathe, I hope
South DakotaUnder God the people rule
TennesseeAgriculture and commerce
VermontMay the fourteenth star shine bright
VirginiaThus always to tyrants
WashingtonBye and bye
West VirginiaMountaineers are always free
WyomingEqual rights

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