State Motto of Kentucky

State Motto of Kentucky

“United We Stand, Divided We Fall” Is The Official Kentucky State Motto.  This State Motto Of Kentucky both appears on the state seal and state flag. Like many other U.S. state mottos (see Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Vermont) the overall message of the State Motto of Kentucky is that of the power and strength found in unity. The phrase has been attributed to the ancient Greek storyteller Aesop, both directly in his fable “The Four Oxen and the Lion” and indirectly in “The Bundle of Sticks”. The origin of the Kentucky motto is somewhat hazed but some sources have it that it was Kentucky’s first governor, Isaac Shelby, who was also a Revolutionary War hero, that promoted it. Other sources contend that it was the essayist John Dickinson who came up with the inspiration for the Kentucky State Motto.

Kentucky entered the Union on June 1, 1792. A little over six months later, on December 20, 1792, the General Assembly of Kentucky First adopted the official seal of the Commonwealth, including the State Motto of Kentucky, United We Stand, Divided We Fall. The act stated:

“Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that the Governor be empowered and is hereby required to provide at the public charge a seal for this Commonwealth; and procure the same to be engraved with the following device, viz.: 禅wo friends embracing, with the name of the state over their heads and around about the following motto: United We Stand, Divided We Fall.”

“Deo Gratiam Habeamus” (Official)

Kentucky also has an official Latin State Motto of Kentucky: “Deo Gratiam Habeamus” which means “Let us be Grateful to God”. This Latin motto was adopted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2002.


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