Lonely Planet Writer

A cool new map features every American state motto

Everyone knows the “In God We Trust” saying— it’s the motto of the United States, printed on their dollars, and it’s quoted often in movies and television series of every genre. But did you know it’s also the motto of the state of Florida? And do you know what the mottos of the other states are?

The state of Florida shares the same motto as the country as a whole. Image courtesy of CashNetUSA

US-based website CashNetUSA has come to your rescue, creating a map of the USA that illustrates all the different mottos in the country. That makes for a total of fifty mottos, in more than five languages (some states even have two, but on the map, you can find only the most popular one).

The map illustrates all fifty mottos, translating them all to English. Image courtesy of CashNetUSA

The map reports all the mottos in English, but only twenty-four of them were originally thought in English— like Alaska’s motto, “North to the Future”. Twenty more mottos are in Latin— the motto of the state of Kansas, for example, is the famous saying “Ad Astra Per Aspera,” which translates to “To the Stars Through Difficulty”.

Alaska’s motto is one of the twenty-four that are in English. Image courtesy of CashNetUSA

Other mottos are in French, Spanish, even Ancient Greek. For example, the saying “L’Etoile du Nord”, which translated from French means “The Star of the North”, represents the state of Minnesota. Montana’s motto is “Oro y Plata”, which in Spanish means “Gold and Silver”. “Eureka!”, a famous Ancient Greek catchphrase that means “I’ve Found It”, is the motto of the state of California.

“Eureka” is such a famous word that California maintains it in its original Ancient Greek without translating it. Image courtesy of CashNetUSA

There are also mottos in native languages. The state of Hawai’i is represented by a saying in its native Hawaiian, “Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘aīna i ka pono”, first used in 1843, which could mean something like “The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness,” although there are varying translations. Washington’s motto is the Chinook phrase “Al-ki”— it translates literally to “bye and bye”. A more modern translation and the one you can find in the map is “Into the Future”.

The motto of Hawai’i has a couple of different translation from its native Hawaiian. Image courtesy of CashNetUSA

To make sure their information was accurate, CashNetUSA found two sources that confirmed each motto and two more that confirmed its translation whenever it was needed. You can read more about the map here, and read the entire research here.