“Dirigo” Is The Official State Motto of Maine. “Dirigo” Is a Latin Term Which Means “I Direct” or “I Lead”. Maine Entered the Union on March 15, 1820. The Legislature of the State of Maine held its first session from May 21 to June 28 of the same year. The Maine State Motto, Dirigo, (I direct or I guide) was adopted during this session.
The Latin State Motto Featured on Maine’s coat of arms, which is both the state seal and state flag. The idea that just as a star guides a sailor home from his seagoing adventures, The State guides its citizens toward the loftiest patriotism. (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.”)
About the Maine State Motto:
The resolutions adopting the seal upon which this motto appears, give some insight into the meaning intended by the State Motto of Maine:
“…as the Polar Star has been considered the mariner’s guide and director in conducting the ship over the pathless ocean to the desired haven, and as the center of magnetic attraction; as it has been figuratively used to denote the point, to which all affections turn, and as it is here intended to represent the State, it may be considered the citizens’ guide, and the object to which the patriot’s best exertions should be directed”.
The Maine State Motto has been used for the name of the Dirigo Health Agency which oversees the state of Maine’s health care system.
The “Polar Star” in the seal is intended to represent the new State of Maine as indicated above. The motto, Dirigo, extends the character of the “Polar Star… considered the mariner’s guide…”, referring to the state as the “citizens’ guide” while also exhorting the responsibilities of the citizens to the state, “…the object to which the patriot’s best exertions should be directed.”
The law About Adopting the official State Motto of Maine is found in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 9, Subchapter 1 Section 205.