r/dataisbeautiful OC: 65 Sep 09 '21 Wholesome 3 Hugz 2 Awesome Answer 1 Silver 10 Helpful 15

US state mottos [OC] OC

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31.9k Upvotes

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480

u/snowday784 Sep 09 '21

New Mexico: “it is what it is”

50

u/coombuyah26 Sep 09 '21

New Mexico: it's neither.

20

u/SirIlliterate Sep 10 '21 Hugz

Here's a little tidbit that I always find fun: spell out the word socks in English: S-O-C-K-S and it comes out as "Eso sí que es", which means "it is what it is".

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u/Aslanic Sep 09 '21 Silver

I love how a bunch of these are inspirational, while Michigan is like, you looking for a nice place? You came to the right place! Lmao

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u/Dowdb Sep 09 '21

Part of me wants to believe the Michigan motto is just taking a shot at all the snow birds who move down to Florida every winter

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u/IWP05 Sep 09 '21

This is the best thing I've seen all day

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u/lobsterbash Sep 09 '21

Yeah, most are definitely trying to be high-minded. And there's Montana, which doesn't even pretend.

"You know what? Fuck values. We got gold and silver."

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u/MrKrinkle151 Sep 09 '21

They don’t even claim to have it. It’s just a statement of nouns. Like a person yelling random phrases in the subway

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u/lobsterbash Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

And Nevada Utah: INDUSTRY.

HULK STATES SMASH ECONOMY

Edit: I've been to these states several times, brain fart.

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u/king-of-jerks Sep 09 '21

Utah is “Industry,” Nevada is “All for our country.”

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u/skylarmt Sep 09 '21

Nobody talking about how Florida straight up plagiarized the dollar bill

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u/koolaid7431 Sep 09 '21

Just as weird of a proclamation: Agriculture and Commerce

Ps. Idk what the state is.

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u/lobsterbash Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

Tennessee. And yes, almost anything else would be better as a motto for that state. Like CULTURE AND HILLS

57

u/koolaid7431 Sep 09 '21

Isn't there also a bunch of famous alcohol from Tennessee?

Distilled Beauty

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u/lobsterbash Sep 09 '21

I'd categorize that as culture. We don't want Tennessee's motto being too verbose now. I mean look at North Dakota. God ND, write a fuckin novel why don't you

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u/zebulon99 Sep 09 '21

And then tennessee is like hmmm what do we have? Oh yeah agriculture and commerce i guess

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u/OrbitRock_ Sep 09 '21

Montana be like: plata o plomo

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u/Rustique Sep 09 '21

Tony Montana meets Escobar?

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u/ajt666 Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

Well we didn't have much else at the time.

The sheriff of the state's first capital was also a highway-man who robbed people who he knew to be leaving Virginia City with large amounts of gold.

Look up Henry Plummer if you've never heard of him. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Plummer

The vigilantes who took down his gang are the reason all our state troopers/Montana Highway Patrolmen have 3-7-77 on their cars and badges.

Here's more about that.

https://www.montanatrooper.com/3-7-77/

Edit: dropped an apostrophe.

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u/GarbageBath Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

And they said it in spanish for some some reason

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u/Variatas Sep 09 '21

Well, it is Montaña.

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u/JBSquared Sep 09 '21

It's literally because the motto choosing committee thought it sounded better in Spanish lmao

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u/relddir123 Sep 09 '21

Arizona tries to strike a middle ground

115

u/orrocos Sep 09 '21

New Mexico? Meh. It grows as it goes. It is what it is. Whatever.

25

u/ywBBxNqW Sep 09 '21

"That's the way she goes, boys."

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u/person-ontheinternet Sep 09 '21

in a deep sultry voice Pure Michigan

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u/nater255 Sep 09 '21

The Pure Michigan campaign was a massive success, and for good reason.

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u/jonny24eh Sep 09 '21

Still going on, isn't it?

76

u/El_Bistro Sep 09 '21

Judging by the amount of fucking tourists here I’d say yes.

18

u/ball_soup Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 10 '21

I went to Frankfort with my wife in late October last year. Rain, bad weather, cold. And 2/3 cars had Illinois plates.

Edit: I live in Michigan and I loved visiting that area in the fall.

13

u/GetGankedIdiot Sep 09 '21

Weather goes instantly to 70 or lower right on labor day there.

Unless you enjoy early fall weather in a place that designed for water enjoyment then I wouldn't recommend going after labor day...

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u/edrinshrike Sep 09 '21

Tim Allen's voice?

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u/itsallsmart Sep 09 '21

Sultry sultry Tim Allen

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u/matti-san Sep 09 '21 Silver

It reminds me of Christopher Wren's epitaph - he designed a lot of churches and cathedrals and other things in London after the Great Fire (along with stuff elsewhere). He also designed St Paul's Cathedral and he's buried there - other famous figures received statues or at least embellishments on their flagstones. His is just a basic stone that reads 'If you seek his monument, look around you'

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u/UmiNotsuki Sep 09 '21

Nah that's cool AF

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u/KnowMatter Sep 09 '21

And VA is like “fuck around and find out”.

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u/rakfocus Sep 09 '21

It's definitely one of the best

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u/Longshot365 Sep 09 '21

Our seal depicts a topless woman murdering a king.

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u/dolphinitely Sep 09 '21

yeah i love the VA flag!!

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u/dbcannon Sep 09 '21

I would pay money to watch that movie

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u/here_for_the_meems Sep 09 '21

The Indiana one is like "yeah this is where the biggest interstates meet".

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u/time_bot Sep 09 '21

"If you're here, you're trying to get somewhere else."

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u/Joth91 Sep 09 '21

Florida just phoning it in and copies a quarter

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u/Djinnwrath Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

That phrase wasn't even on our paper money until the 50s, though to be fair it was a common enough saying since the civil war, that it became the official US motto.

I prefer the old one: e pluribus unum (out of many: one)

170

u/Umutuku Sep 09 '21

Changing the motto from "We're all in this together." to "Jesus take the wheel!" is some of the dumbest shit of all time.

epluribusunumgang

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u/sashslingingslasher Sep 09 '21

"I got your peninsula right here!"

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u/KnowMatter Sep 09 '21

Slaps roof of peninsula

“You can fit so many good views in this bad boy!”

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u/SonOfMcGee Sep 09 '21 Silver

“Are you looking for a pleasant peninsula? Well the peninsula where we are standing right now is a peninsula that is plesant like the one you are looking for looking for. I’m Perd Hapley.”

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u/mistere213 Sep 09 '21

And we like it that way, thank you very much.

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u/TheAgedProfessor Sep 09 '21

It's not even a motto, just "hey, you lookin' for a nice peninsula? GUESS WHAT!"

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u/myself248 Sep 09 '21

I can picture the conversation when they came up with it. As the 26th state, there was plenty of prior art, and surely pressure to be equally high-minded, grandiose, eloquent.

But like all Michiganders, as soon as it's time for a break, everyone's talking about going up north, or the big fish they caught last week (of course, photography wouldn't be invented until two years later, so conveniently there's a lack of evidence of this lake giant), or the awesome buck they totally shot at but missed, again. (It's okay, Jacques, you'll get him next time!) And naturally a hearty helping of trash-talk about Ohio, already a state for several years but also already a point of derision for being.. well... Ohio.

And at some point, somebody just goes "Why don't we just tell everyone how nice Michigan is? I mean sure it's a bit off the beaten path, most folks never come this far west, but if they're looking for a little slice of paradise, they should!"

Nods, shrugs, more nods. "Okay, alright, that's sensible enough. But we gotta do it in Latin or some shit, right? Can't be too obvious about it." "Hear, hear, Latin or some shit! Okay, ahh, someone write that down. Who's up for some euchre?"

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u/smithna Sep 09 '21

This comment reeks of Vernors. I love it.

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u/S4LVAD0R Sep 09 '21 Silver Gold

Nothing inspires me more than GOLD AND SILVER

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u/shartney Sep 09 '21

State borders Canada, motto is Spanish. Motto is about gold and silver, we have the largest/only platinum and palladium mines in the US, and one of the largest superfund sites in the defunct copper mine the Berkeley Pit. I think we need an updated motto.

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u/GuiltyEidolon Sep 09 '21

Don't forget that the name is Spanish too.

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u/Tactical_Possum Sep 09 '21 Wholesome

My favorite thing about state mottos is that you can see the history and development of the country through them. The east coast is full of mottos focusing on warfare and the cost of freedom through death. As you go west they center more on expansion

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u/SRSgoblin Sep 10 '21 All-Seeing Upvote

That's also why Nevada sticks out a bit of a sore thumb outwest. The state flag says "battle born" on it.

It's because Nevada was accepted into the Union during the Civil War, for the silver deposits. Hence why we're also The Silver State.

Also fun fact, we might have slogans and such about silver but we're actually the largest producer of Gold in the country. The United States is 4th largest gold producing country in the world at about 200 tons, and Nevada is about 3/4ths of the total for the entire country.

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u/dittbub Sep 09 '21

Texas friendship phase <3

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u/iamsavsavage Sep 10 '21 Wholesome

The real Texas was the friendships we made along the way.

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u/ilikerocks19 Sep 09 '21 Wearing is Caring

It’s hilarious to me that New Hampshire is “live free or die” while Texas is “friendship”

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u/walking_sideways Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

There was a super interesting case about New Hampshire's "live free or die" slogan. It's printed on the license plates in the state, and threatening violence on his personal vehicle didn't sit well with one guy, so he covered it up with tape. Got pulled over a bunch for altering his plate, but he basically just ignored them and kept doing it. It eventually got to the higher courts where they ruled that even though a license plate is a government issued document, the state of New Hampshire was forcing this guy to say "live free or die", which violated his first amendment rights.

So that's why you can legally cover parts of your license plates you disagree with (at least in New Hampshire) as long as you don't cover the numbers.

EDIT: state-level clarification

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u/lMickNastyl Sep 09 '21

I am from NH and I like to ask a question when our state motto and license plates are brought up.

Who makes the license plates?

Prisoners in state prison, they are literally making plates that say live free or die on them. If thats not some ironic dark humor, I dont know what is.

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u/yo_mama_5000 Sep 09 '21 Helpful

You are indeed correct. This was surprisingly hard to Google, but I found the definitive answer. https://www.nh.gov/nhdoc/divisions/corrrectional/index.html

"NH Correctional Industries is responsible to produce all of the license plates for the State of New Hampshire. This is done under a special contract agreement with the NH Department of Safety. License plates are not available for purchase from correctional industries."

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u/ZLBuddha Sep 09 '21

I believe that most US license plates are made with prison labor, not just NH.

Source: had a Criminal Justice professor in college who was the former head of RI Dept of Corrections

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u/yo_mama_5000 Sep 09 '21

Yeah, I was Googling around and saw one article that said 80% of US plates are made in 8 prisons.

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u/texag93 Sep 09 '21

Of course there's a song about this.

https://youtu.be/hgQZ82Lq6i8

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u/allureofgravity Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

Really? Sheesh, so it’s legal to alter plates but my plate frame partially covered “Garden State” and I got a ticket…

EDIT: this led to me looking it up, and coincidentally, just this past month there was a clarification on the law, after a driver appealed the citation. Clarification stated that partially covered words were OK, while fully covered words are not. Still leaves it a bit vague, as to what one would consider as “partial”. Like, can I cover 90%? 50%? 99%? Not that I want to, just saying.

Source: https://www.nj.com/news/2021/08/cops-shouldnt-stop-drivers-for-partially-covered-license-plates-nj-supreme-court-says.html

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u/eirinne Sep 09 '21

So much irony

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u/walking_sideways Sep 09 '21 Wholesome

You can always come to me for more license plate facts

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u/CaptainWollaston Sep 09 '21

Why did Massachusetts switch from the green numbers to the boring red and blue theme?

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u/eirinne Sep 09 '21

SUBSCRIBE

[but I do remember the case!]

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u/walking_sideways Sep 09 '21

Free speech round 2!

There was a supreme court case concerning custom licence plates in Texas where the Sons of Confederate Veterans wanted to commission a plate with the Confederate flag on it. The state denied it however. The ultimate ruling was that refusing the custom plate was a valid form of the government of Texas' speech and did not infringe on the first amendment rights of the requestors. Basically, you can't make the government endorse something by printing it on a license plate.

Check out 99% invisible podcast! I heard about this there and it's an all around interesting series!

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u/Homeless_Gandhi Sep 09 '21

There was an episode of 99% Invisible about this. It wasn’t because he was non-violent, although I’m sure he was. He was a Jehovah’s Witness and in their religion your life is sacred and you shouldn’t throw it away for any reason. So, they would rather be alive and enslaved then kill themselves for freedom. That was the issue he had with it, suggesting that he would die for freedom.

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u/walking_sideways Sep 09 '21

Thanks for the clarification! That sounds right to me, I was just going off of what I remember. 99% invisible is a great podcast for anyone who hasn't tried it!

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u/karmaisreplaceable Sep 09 '21

This was a Ronnie Chieng stand up bit

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u/emothuglife Sep 09 '21

First thing I thought of when I saw the map

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u/Tristavia Sep 09 '21

I also found this hilarious. As a NH resident I am abundantly aware of our motto and use it frequently.
"ice cream for bfast? live free or die!"
"bicycle with no helmet? live free or die!"
"making a smore with reeses instead of a chocolate bar? live free or die, bitches!"

Massholes often make fun of us for this caviler type of motto and lifestyle, but I did NOT know that its basically a summarized, english, version of the mass motto "by the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty" and I'm totally gonna use that from now on.

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u/czyivn Sep 09 '21

Yeah, the Mass motto is arguably more hardcore than NH. It's basically "live free or I'm gonna cut a bitch".

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u/baby-elf Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 10 '21

NH is baby texas of the northeast usa... but with forests

Edit: Please stop being rude and condescending towards me in any replies going forward. Thanks in advance.

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u/Virulencer Sep 09 '21

NH residents live by that motto too. For example, you don't need to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. I have seen motorcyclists pull over just across the state line to remove their helmets.

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u/Imautochillen Sep 09 '21

Thanks to Breaking Bad I will never forget NH's motto.

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u/TheRealMoofoo Sep 09 '21

For me it's George Carlin talking about mottos on license plates: "Somewhere between 'Live Free or Die' and 'Famous Potatoes' lies the truth. And I'm guessing it's a little closer to 'Famous Potatoes.'"

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u/Revolutionary-Survey Sep 09 '21

I think Texas is friendship in Apache

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u/[deleted] Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 21 '21

[deleted]

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u/InArduaTende Sep 09 '21 Eureka!

California’s motto, Eureka, is actually Greek for “I have found”

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u/zous Sep 09 '21

Thank you, that's why I came here. It cracked me up that the one Greek motto was left untranslated XD

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u/DragoSphere Sep 09 '21

Probably because "eureka" has been adopted into the English language? It's got its own distinct spelling and pronunciation from the Greek word too

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u/Gullible_Skeptic Sep 09 '21

If that is the intent of OP then California should be colored red to indicate it is an English word.

If OP is treating Eureka as an actual Greek word then consistency would dictate that he should have written 'I have found it,' as the translation.

Making either change would 'correct' the map.

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u/tongmengjia Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

I think it's "I have found it." As a Californian, I was taught in 4th grade that the phrase was used by prospectors when they found gold during the gold rush. Other interesting fact is that our first state seal was made with prison labor at San Quentin, and they were able to sneak a representation of the prison onto the seal, and it's still there.

EDIT: So apparently the San Quentin thing is wrong. Goddamn American educational system.

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u/AncientRickles Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

Though gold speculation is a part of the story, it also has to do with the rediscovery of the Humboldt Bay itself:

Humboldt Bay was finally “discovered” in 1806 by an exploration party from the O’Cain, a vessel jointly commissioned by the Winship brothers from Boston and the Russian-American Fur Company. However, when the O’Cain’s mission to hunt sea otters ended, the ship sailed out of Humboldt Bay, with no one on board documenting the bay’s location on a map. The location of the bay’s entrance hidden among rocky cliffs and sand dunes, once again became a mystery! The search for Humboldt Bay was renewed during the early years of the California Gold Rush. The discovery of gold in the Trinity region of Northern California in 1848 caused a population explosion in Humboldt County.

Americans found the Humboldt Bay with some Russians, then lost it for almost 50 years. Despite being pretty underpopulated now, the Humboldt Bay was the center of attention in the beginning of California's history. This is due to the vast natural resources. This included the development of California's first oil wells and oldest functioning railroads in the state.

EDIT: The relevance to the slogan "Eureka", in case it isn't obvious, is that Eureka is the largest city on the Humboldt Bay.

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u/Pachachacha Sep 09 '21

Having went to school in Eureka you also taught me why my middle school was named Winship so thank you

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u/InArduaTende Sep 09 '21

it’s technically just “I have found”, but often people add the “it” at the end so it makes more sense in english. It’s just the difference between the literal translation and a figurative one

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u/odelay42 Sep 09 '21

Technically, eureka is perfect indicative, and the direct object is implied.

I'd argue that, "I have found" is an incomplete translation, since a non-specific direct object is translated as "it" in english.

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u/Fencius Sep 09 '21

Mass: We’re just going to keep stabbing until there’s nothing left to stab, and even then we’ll see.

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u/masshole4life Sep 09 '21

Sounds like our drivers

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u/The_Blip Sep 09 '21

My dumb ass for 3 seconds looking at the key: "Huh, I wonder which state's motto is in Hawaiian?"

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u/UhnonMonster Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21 Gold Yas Queen

I’m not gonna lie, I like my state’s (Virginia) flag and motto.

The flag is a woman warrior, with one tit out, holding a sword and a spear and standing with one foot on a man’s chest. She is supposed to be Virtue and he is Tyranny so the motto “Thus always to tyrants” is in reference to virtue whooping his ass lol.

It’s pretty hardcore.

ETA: a few comments are mentioning the John Wilkes Booth association so I looked it up and:

John Wilkes Booth wrote in his diary that he shouted it after killing Lincoln, but it seems we only have his own claim as evidence.

It’s originally credited to the assassination of Julius Caesar, but even that is documented as a rumor of the time. Rumor or truth, the phrase is much, much older than John Wilkes Booth. The phrase was recommended for use in the Virginia seal by George Mason in 1776.

That’s just from the wiki and I love history so if anyone else has more info, I’d love to learn!

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u/Udzu OC: 65 Sep 09 '21 Silver Hugz

If you like bare breasts on flags, here are some more.

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u/UhnonMonster Sep 09 '21

Lmfao. What an amazing response. Thank you.

I’m not really sure why I like that part specifically, or why I think it adds the the badassness. I think it may be because it’s clearly not sexual, just a gal doin her thing, killin a tyrant, and if a tit happens to fall out in the process, well, so be it. She clearly has more important things at hand lol.

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u/AgCat1340 Sep 09 '21

More important things are..... abreast.

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u/25hourenergy Sep 09 '21

Right now I’m breastfeeding a fussy sick baby in a rocking chair that I’ve been sitting in all day in stained, damp clothes while trying to eat cold pasta one-handed (and getting some on baby, sorry baby!) and this is making me feel just very slightly more badass having something in common with this warrior goddess.

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u/UhnonMonster Sep 09 '21

You ARE a warrior goddess 💗

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u/25hourenergy Sep 09 '21

Aw, thank you. ❤️ Gonna try to keep this in mind next time I change a diaper blowout lol

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u/atomic0range Sep 09 '21

Sic semper diaper!

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u/jawise Sep 09 '21

Erin go braaaaaaaaagh

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u/RockstarSpudForChamp Sep 09 '21

Erin go braless

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u/Havenkeld Sep 09 '21

Lapland's looks like it belongs in an old video game.

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u/GrandmaPoses Sep 09 '21

Virginia is for lovers. But also, points to flag

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u/seawang Sep 09 '21

Fellow Virginian, also love our flag & motto. Very metal. Fuck tyrants.

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u/Ut_Prosim Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

The flag is a woman warrior,

Fuck yeah. That's actually the Roman goddess Virtus, the divine embodiment of valor, courage, character, and worth. I believe the idea was that tyranny can only be beaten by these virtues. The Greek version Arete is also the daughter of the goddess of Justice. In a sense, she can be seen as the means by which justice beats tyranny.

I love the symbology and I don't care what r/vexillology thinks, a state flag with a nipple > 49 state flags without one.

The origin of the name is a little less impressive...

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u/WanderAndDream Sep 09 '21

It's what the assassins shouted as they stabbed Julius Caesar; it was a call back to what assassins shouted when they stabbed Tarquin the Proud, the last King of Rome. Both were from the Brutus clan.

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u/Write_What_I_Like Sep 09 '21

Agreed, and it's been our motto since 1776. ...and then John Wilkes Booth shouted it when he shot Lincoln, which tarnished it a little.

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u/bigbear1992 Sep 09 '21

"Tyranny is when the government won't let me own people." - John Wilkes Booth, probably

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u/Picard_Indeed Sep 09 '21

Not gonna lie, been a Virginian my entire life and TIL our state motto isn't Virginia Is For Lovers.

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u/Randomfactoid42 Sep 09 '21

Apparently it was a little too hardcore for a state-wide politician. He had a more modest flag in his office. One of my favorite memories of him and every time he pops up in the news trying to sound tough, I think about how he couldn't handle our state flag.

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u/Elryc35 Sep 09 '21

Ken Cuccinelli, the ex-AG. Who was also put on CNN for God knows what reason and is still often brought up as a possible AG for whoever the next Republican president is.

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u/chcampb Sep 09 '21

Florida Man plagiarizes state motto

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u/Torker Sep 09 '21

The US did not have “In God We Trust” until the 1950s. The original US motto is “Out of Many, One”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_pluribus_unum

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u/ginandtree Sep 09 '21

Out of many, one is a better motto for the us IMO anyway

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u/AntiDECA Sep 09 '21

Wait.. so the US took Florida's motto? Out of all the options, Florida? Regardless, the original motto definitely sounds better.

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u/qwertyashes Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

It was a phrase that was common in the nation for a while, similar to Gott Mit Uns in Germany.
Mainly adopted to differentiate us from the USSR, who were atheistic officially.

And there's just that Florida adopted the phrase after the US gov't did.

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u/saberslime Sep 09 '21 Wholesome

But when Florida Man says it, it's sounds a lot more like "Jesus, take the wheel"

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u/jelliedtoast Sep 09 '21

All of them are so pissed or vaguely serious. Then there's MI. "Our state and people are beautiful."

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u/MissKDC Sep 09 '21

The motto of Virginia without the image on the flag still seems violent, but with the image of the Virginian standing on top of the dead guy… watch out for Virginia!

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u/TheDeadlySquid Sep 09 '21

Still always love Virginia’s motto. I think it captures the zeitgeist of Americans as a whole although it derives from the founding of this country.

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u/4scoreand7feildgoals Sep 09 '21

Same, hard to ignore my bias but VA really has the best motto that captures the spirit of our foundation and what should be our guiding value as a country. Plus it's so bad ass, pretty much a "fuck around and find out" to tyrants.

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u/baconator81 Sep 09 '21

"Labor conquers all things" sounds like a communist slogan.

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u/sivart343 Sep 09 '21

Oklahoma early on was a relative strongpoint for the U.S. Socialist party.

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u/CircleDog Sep 09 '21

Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law sounds like something a communist state would have as its motto.

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u/KrootLootGroup Sep 09 '21

Its because it kinda was. The Oklahoma Socialist Party was once one of the strongest in the union, and the state flag was a Red Star. The state Constitution also has a lot of good things in it from the Socialist Party being such a power bloc at the time. There was also an armed rebellion against the WWI draft.

Oklahoma is one of those weirdly interesting states when you get into its history.

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u/jampk24 Sep 09 '21

Minnesota North Stars makes sense now

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u/BonjourMaBelle Sep 09 '21 Silver

Ida - “Let it be perpetual” - ho sounding like a downbeat Facebook auntie rolling the dice on a $20 black jack winning streak

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u/Augen76 Sep 09 '21

Wait...so in "Always Sunny" Mac quotes Ohio's state motto to the therapist?? I'll jot that down.

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u/FerociousFrizzlyBear Sep 09 '21

Well, it’s also a fairly common phrase outside of state mottos.

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u/trugrav Sep 09 '21

For anyone wondering, it comes from a story in Matthew. After Jesus tells the disciples that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, they ask him how this can be true. Jesus looks at them and says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”.

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u/ToeFondler Sep 09 '21

Its a known and used phrase. Especially for religious folk.

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u/TraptNSuit Sep 09 '21

Missouri - The Irony State

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u/oversized_hoodie Sep 09 '21

With the government's refusal to expand medicare despite an actual mandate from voters, this has risen to an impressive level of irony.

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u/waterpiper Sep 09 '21

Yes! Scrolled down for these two comments. When the government tries to overturn any good will laws voted in by the people. Fucking laughable. Gerrymandering and Medicare.

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u/ExtinctLikeNdiaye Sep 09 '21 Starry

Oklahoma: Labor conquers all things.

Reality: Oklahoma is the 10th worst state for labor in America

Also, Massachusetts needs to chill the fuck out with that motto.

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u/YossarianLivesMatter Sep 09 '21 Take My Energy

Tbf, Oklahoma never said whose labor conquers

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u/CurtisHayfield Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21 Gold Hugz Ally

Oklahoma has a strong history of socialism.

Brutal poverty, the concentration of land ownership in the hands of a small elite, and the exploitative credit-lending power of the banks were an explosive mix. By consistently championing the basic material demands of Oklahomans for land and economic justice, and by treating poor farmers as part of a broadly conceived working class, socialists from 1902 onward began building up a popular base in the Sooner State.

Oklahoma’s Socialist Party (SP) soon became the party’s largest branch, per capita, in the United States. Much of the credit for this growth can be given to the tireless work of German-born socialist Oscar Ameringer. A talented and humorous propagandist known as the “Mark Twain of American Socialism,” Ameringer built up a strong organizational and electoral apparatus inspired by Milwaukee’s moderate socialist machine

Contesting elections was a central means through which the SP rooted itself among Oklahoman toilers. This electoral focus was particularly important since Oklahoma lacked a large industrial working class with the social power to shut down production through strikes. By 1914, the SP had over eight hundred locals and over 175 elected officials, including six state legislators. That year, the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Fred W. Holt, got 20 percent of the vote, convincing both the poor and the political elite that Oklahoma’s socialists might soon win the levers of governmental power.

Though electoral politics was a central focus, the Socialist Party hardly limited itself to this arena.

Quite a few states we now associate with far right populations were actually hotbeds for American leftism, such as Kansas (see the book What’s the Matter with Kansas? by Thomas Frank).

This history, like a lot of labor history, has been explicitly hidden. The current fight among the right to hide oppressive racial history, under the guise of “removing Critical Race Theory”, is but a modern outcropping of a long tradition.

For example, the largest armed insurrection since the Civil War was a labor uprising in West Virginia - the Battle of Blair Mountain. Mine workers were frequently killed on the job, corporations exploiting them and the land, their unionization undermined and attacked (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-union_violence_in_the_United_States, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_spying_in_the_United_States), etc. This led to what is called the Mine Wars: a series of strikes and conflicts between laboring miners and coal companies.

Blair Mountain was the crescendo.

The origins of the battle can be traced to the Matewan Massacre, when gun thugs working for Baldwin-Felts—an infamous strike-breaking “detective” agency—got into a shootout with a group of miners and Sheriff Sid Hatfield. After Baldwin-Felts agents murdered Hatfield in revenge the following year—on the steps of the county courthouse—his death became a martyrdom that roused miners to battle.

Coal life was already hard enough. Dangerous conditions (the Monongah Disaster alone killed upwards of 400 people, not to mention the long-term effects of breathing in coal dust), low wages (mine owners had been convicted of war profiteering during World War I), and exploitative credit systems were par for the course.

The situation only escalated in the summer of 1921 after hundreds of striking workers were arrested and held indefinitely. Hatfield’s death was the final straw. By August, thousands of miners were marching toward Matewan, intent on freeing their comrades and bringing their guerilla version of class warfare into action.

When the bombs started falling on the slopes of Blair Mountain—on Labor Day, 1921–many realized the gravity of their situation. For almost a week, miners numbering in the thousands had been battling machine-gun nests commanded by Don Chafin, sheriff of Logan County. They had already refused the pleas of President Harding, who feared their struggle might inspire the nearly 2 million unemployed Americans across the country to launch a full-scale class revolution. Thousands of leaflets bearing Harding’s message calling on the miners to disperse, were dropped by plane—and summarily ignored.

By nightfall, after the rumble of machine-gun fire and whir of biplane engines had dissipated, the miners must have looked around from where they were perched in trees or stretched out in hastily dug trenches and seen the numbers missing from their ranks. Still, they fought on.

Their fight was the culmination of a decades-long struggle. After coal companies rejected every effort by the UMWA to win representation, armed struggle took hold. By the end of the week somewhere between 50 and 100 miners, among them Appalachians, Italian immigrants, and African Americans, were dead.

UMWA membership declined for years in the wake of the battle, but after the passage of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, union President John L. Lewis led the UMWA back to southern West Virginia as soldiers returning to Rome, unionizing every coal operation they encountered. The fight to unionize the West Virginia coalfields was over—or so it seemed.

Now, to tie this relevance back to erasure. The Battle of Blair Mountain - the largest uprising since the Civil War and a major event in US history - was largely omitted from textbooks in West Virginia.

In the final room of the Mine Wars Museum, Kimberly McCoy, the museum’s resident guide, and a great-niece of Sid Hatfield, opened up five different West Virginia history textbooks from the 1930s to the 1980s to the section where “the Battle of Blair Mountain should have been,” Kim said, “but they’re all empty.” In 1920, Governor Ephraim Morgan set up an American Constitutional Association to select the textbooks used in West Virginia schools, which excluded any mention of the state’s mine wars. Generations grew up cut off from their ancestors’ struggles because business leaders were afraid history would repeat itself.

And it did. The members of Local 1440 in Matewan demonstrated the same militant struggle of years past during the Massey Energy Strike. Miners picketed for 15 months outside facilities lined with barbed-wire fencing and patrolled by uniformed guards. Massey Energy hired helicopters to patrol the surrounding hollers. A non-union driver was shot to death. Massey CEO Don Blankenship, perhaps the most infamous name in the Tug River Valley, likened the UMWA to Soviet Russia, while the UMWA later launched the successful 1989 Pittston Strike. The West Virginia mine wars have been replayed again and again.

This is just one example of a wide ranging issue, which involves removing the larger history of leftism, anti-racism, feminism, etc from American history.

For an intro to some US left/labor history, check out:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/02/rise-and-fall-socialist-party-of-america

https://www.versobooks.com/books/2062-the-s-word (history of socialism in the US)

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/90626/american-dreamers-by-michael-kazin/ (history of US left)

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/theminewars/

https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/plutocracy/ (a free film series that covers US labor history)

https://www.socialismmovie.com/ (recently released history of socialism in the US documentary)

https://thenewpress.com/books/from-folks-who-brought-you-weekend (concise history of US labor)

The People’s History series. The most popular, and inspiration for the series, is Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States.

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u/smurfattack Sep 09 '21

To put it in perspective, we (MA) adopted that motto before the founding of the country.

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u/eirinne Sep 09 '21

It’s just the less pithy version of Live Free or Die. I like it.

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u/N2EEE_ Sep 09 '21

Utah is just an angry young stepchild that wants to sound official. "Industry!"

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u/readmeink Sep 09 '21

It’s almost insulting that every other 4 corners state has a motto that feels more appropriate for the ideals of Utah’s state founders than “industry”. But I guess it’s called the beehive state for a reason.

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u/MG_Sputnik Sep 09 '21

Reminds me of Vincent Adultman from Bojack

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u/bigredfred Sep 09 '21

I did an industry at the industry state! It was very industrial.

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u/BinaryPeach OC: 3 Sep 09 '21

Delaware: Hey can I see your homework?

Pennsylvania: Yeah, just change it a little so it doesn't look like you copied.

Delaware:

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u/DirtyDeedsDunderKeep Sep 09 '21

Delaware: *throws Virtue away* welp, don't need this.

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u/Whiterabbit-- Sep 09 '21

Every state is about aspirations. Michigan just describes its geography. Ok I have no idea what Washington state is saying.

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u/RogertheStroklund Sep 09 '21

The original site for Seattle is west of the city on the other side of the harbor at a place called Alki Point. Alki is a Chinook word that means "by and by", which is an old way of saying "eventually". It doesn't make much sense until you realize that the site wasn't originally called Seattle; it was called New York Alki. The site failed to work as a pier because it is the absolute worst place in the harbor to build a pier; nothing can take the currents there for long. So eventually they gave up on that and built the pier somewhere else, and that became Seattle.

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u/GrimpenMar Sep 09 '21

Cool that the motto is in CJ though. Was the "lingua franca" throughout the entire PNW from Oregon to Alaska, including BC, Canada. Lots of place names and old CJ slang up around this corner of the world.

Klahawiam kanawi tilicum!

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u/[deleted] Sep 09 '21

By and by just means "eventually" as in, eventually it will work out or eventually this will pass.

Maybe a better modern translation would be "someday".

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u/simjanes2k Sep 09 '21

Michigan knows what it's about.

"Yo, our shorelines are dope."

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u/Jon_the_Hitman_Stark Sep 09 '21

New Mexico trying to steal my line.

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u/Sam-Gunn Sep 09 '21

"I was in the pool!!"

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u/takenorinvalid OC: 5 Sep 09 '21

Wait a minute wait a minute -- I'm going to look stupid here -- but the Tennessee motto is "Agriculture and Commerce"?

Goddamn, and all this time I just thought the Department of Agriculture and Commerce was weirdly powerful and prominent here.

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u/A_H_S_99 Sep 09 '21

Texas: Don't mess with Texas

Maestar Luwin: No. A common saying, but not their official motto.

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u/Excentricappendage Sep 09 '21

Massachusetts: Ours is the fury.

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u/Prof_Acorn OC: 1 Sep 09 '21

West Virginia: Mountaineers are always free.

Kansas: To the stars through difficulties.

Oregon: She flies with her own wings.

Utah: INDUSTRY!!!

lol what the fuck

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u/Demonyx12 Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

Territorial Motto ("Al-ki" or "Alki") Al-ki or Alki is an Indian word meaning "bye and bye." This motto first appeared on the territorial seal designed by Lt. J.K. Duncan of Gov. Stevens' surveying expedition. On one side it pictures a log cabin and an immigrant wagon with a fir forest in the background; on the other side, a sheet of water being traversed by a steamer and sailing vessel, a city in perspective; the Goddess of Hope and an anchor is in the center. The figure points at the significant word "Alki." Settlers from the schooner Exact named their settlement on Alki Point, New York. The new settlement was slower to grow than its East Coast counterpart, however, so the name was changed to New York-Alki, meaning "into the future" -- the 1850s version of the term "bye and bye" or, "I will see you, bye and bye."

Source: https://leg.wa.gov/Symbols/pages/default.aspx

Note: This motto is unofficial, I believe the only unofficial one in the nation. "Some mottos and icons are understood to represent our state, even though they have never been officially adopted by the legislature."

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u/BloomsdayDevice Sep 09 '21

Our state nickname, "The Evergreen State", is also unofficial, interestingly. We don't want to commit to anything!

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u/Soup-Wizard Sep 09 '21

Our motto should be “Officially Unofficial”

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u/Rocinantes_Knight Sep 09 '21

Fun fact about this word. The original settlement that would latter become Seattle started out being called New York Alki, or kinda like “someday this will be like New York”.

The original settlement position was only used for a year or two before they moved to the other side of the bay where the wind and surf was less troublesome. But that beach, one of Seattle’s premier beach parks, still holds the name Alki.

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u/joofish Sep 09 '21

Maryland’s motto is actually “Manly Deeds, Womanly Words” in Italian. Kind of a questionable idea just like the MD state song calling Lincoln a despot.

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u/Udzu OC: 65 Sep 09 '21

True. "Strong deeds, gentle words" is the translation the government of Maryland cites officially though.

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u/redstag73 Sep 09 '21

"Maryland, My Maryland" was truly terrible. Fortunately, it is no longer the state song.

Though one of my favorite things the first few weeks of the school year at UMd was all the puzzled new students wondering why the chapel bells were playing "O Tannenbaum" in September.

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u/Rottenox Sep 09 '21

Came here to say this. The original motto is “Fatti Maschii, Parole Femine” which is, as you say, “Manly Actions/Deeds, Womanly Words”. The official translation that the Maryland state government uses was purposefully chosen to obscure the literal meaning, due to it coming off as kinda antiquated and… I dunno. Just kinda weird.

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u/TrickStool Sep 09 '21

I like how Indiana's is basically "You gotta drive through us to get where you actually wanna go".

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u/drkwtrs Sep 09 '21

I mean, it's true. If the great lakes didn't exist we would be even more worthless than we are. There are so many semis here.

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u/Goadfang Sep 09 '21

As a native Kansan I feel obligated to say that ours is the coolest state motto.

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u/wildlywell Sep 09 '21

North Carolina’s motto is the best by far: “No Phonies!”

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u/MarlowesMustache Sep 09 '21

It’s got a strange personally philosophical bent to it that cuts a little deeper than just “Freedom and liberty” variants. I dig it.

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u/Cesia_Barry Sep 09 '21

What the hell, OREGON? You're always the weird kid.

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u/Udzu OC: 65 Sep 09 '21

Mottos and translations from Wikipedia. Map generated using Python.

For an untranslated version, see here.

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u/skillinp Sep 09 '21

It seems California didn't get translated. It is in the common parlance, but it sticks out as the only state that is the same in both the untranslated and translated maps.

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u/Zer0C00l Sep 09 '21

"I have found it!"

You have found it!

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u/Sam-Gunn Sep 09 '21

Well, that's shameful. I couldn't ID which state the Ad Astera Per Aspera one was without googling it...

Pretty cool of Kansas to use that motto though!

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u/fishyanand Sep 09 '21

SC represent. Didn't know we had a motto, but I love it.

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u/thebeef24 Sep 09 '21

It's even better in Latin. "Dum Spiro Spero"

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u/nhibbard12 Sep 09 '21 edited Sep 09 '21

Isn’t it printed on most of the license plates?

Edit: I do agree with your sentiment though… it’s a good motto.

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u/hiphippo65 Sep 09 '21

Ohio be like:

Philippians 4:13

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u/GroverFC Sep 09 '21

I love ours. Kansas - Ad Astra Per Aspera

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u/ReallyTallLeprechaun Sep 09 '21

NC & SC: best pork barbecue* and best state mottos.

*I’m obligated to say eastern NC, vinegar-based barbecue is the best, but western NC tomato-based and SC mustard-based barbecue are still very good.

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u/Beyond_Deity Sep 09 '21

Yeah... friendship until someone gets an abortion

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u/bofademm78 Sep 09 '21

Do you have the date each motto was adopted? Mostly curious about Florida.

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u/Udzu OC: 65 Sep 09 '21

Wikipedia does. Though for Florida note that:

In God We Trust" first appeared on the state seal in 1868. It was designated the official motto in 2006

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u/Cichlidsaremyjam Sep 09 '21

"Friendship" is the funniest shit I've seen all day.

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