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Connecticut State Motto

Qui Transtulit Sustinet Language:Latin
Translation:He Who Transplanted Still Sustains Adopted:1788 (Statehood)

What is a motto?

Merriam-Webster Online defines motto in this way:

State mottoes may be said to reflect the character and beliefs of the citizens of the state, or more accurately, the citizens of the state when they were adopted. State mottoes can help us gain insight into the history of a state.

Adoption of the Connecticut State Motto

The motto, Qui Transtulit Sustinet, has been an element of a number of versions of an official seal used since colonial times and before. It was first seen in the colonies in 1639 on a seal brought from England by Colonel George Fenwick. That seal served as the official seal of the Saybrook Colony. When the land of the Saybrook Colony was purchased by the Connecticut Colony in 1644, the seal was transferred with the title to the land.

The current Seal of the State of Connecticut looks a little different than the 1639 seal but the elements of the, the supported grape vines and the motto, Qui Transtulit Sustinet, sustain.

About the Connecticut State Motto

Translation of the motto Qui Transtulit Sustinet has be variously defined as "He Who Transplanted Still Sustains" and "He Who Transplanted Continues to Sustain". As the story of the battles in Lexinton and Concord spread throughout the colonies, local militias prepared. In an April 23, 1775 letter stamped in Whethersfield, Connecticut, it was written, "We fix on our Standards and Drums the Colony arms, with the motto, Qui Transtulit Sustinet, round it in letters of gold, which we construe thus: God, who transplanted us hither, will support us."

The origin of the motto is uncertain, but in 1889 State Librarian Charles J. Hoadly published an article, printed in the Connecticut State Register and Manual, 1889: Register and Manual of the State of Connecticut that indicated the 80th Psalm as a possible source. The article, The Public Seal of Connecticut, stated:

"The vines [on the State Seal] symbolize the Colony brought over and planted here in the wilderness. We read in the 80th Psalm: 'Thou has brought a vine out of Egypt: Thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it':--In Latin, 'Vineam de AEgypto transtulisti, Ejicisti gentes et Plantasti eam'; and the motto expresses our belief that He who brought over the vine continues to take care of it--Qui transtulit sustinet."

George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., in State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols states:

"Connecticut's motto, Qui Transtulit Sustinet, means He who transplanted contiues to sustain. It is an adaptation of Psalms, Chapter 79, verse 3, of the Latin Vulgate Version of the Bible."

The Connecticut Statutes

The following information is excerpted from the Connecticut Statutes, Title 3, Chapter 33, Sections 3-105 and 3-106.

Additional Information

State Motto List: List of all of the state mottoes.

State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002

State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals, flowers, birds, songs, and descriptive comments on the capitol buildings and on some of the leading state histories, Revised Edition - George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938 (Reprint Services Corp. 1971)


Source: Connecticut Statutes, (http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/Statutes.asp), March 22, 2005
Source: Interactive Connecticut State Register & Manual, (http://www.sots.state.ct.us/RegisterManual/regman.htm), March 22, 2005
Source: Merriam-Webster Online, (http://www.m-w.com/), March 3, 2005
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
Source: State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: Revised Edition (Reprint)- George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938

 

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