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Kentucky State Latin Motto

Deo Gratiam Habeamus Language:Latin
Translation:Let Us Be Grateful to God Adoption:2002

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. [What is a motto? ]

Adoption of the Kentucky State Latin Motto

On March 4, 2002, House Bill No. 857 proposing that the motto Deo Gratiam Habeamus be adopted as the official Latin motto of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, was introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives. The bill, proposed by Mr. Tom Riner (House District 41, Jefferson) and Mr. Stan Lee (House District 45, Fayette) was introduced as accurately expressing "...the sentiment clearly stated in the Preamble to our Constitution;"

House Bill No. 857, "AN ACT designating Deo gratiam habeamus as the Commonwealth's official Latin motto.", reads:

WHEREAS, the first Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky was established in 1792 as the governing instrument of the state of Kentucky; and

WHEREAS, the Preamble to the current Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky was established at Frankfort on the 28th day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred ninety-one and in the one hundredth year of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the Preamble states, "We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy, and invoking the continuance of these blessings, do ordain and establish this Constitution."; and

WHEREAS, the Latin phrase "Deo gratiam habeamus," which is rendered in English "Let us be grateful to God," does correctly express the sentiment clearly stated in the Preamble to our Constitution;

NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

SECTION 1. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 2 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

The phrase "Deo gratiam habeamus" is named and designated the Commonwealth's official Latin motto.

The official Latin motto of the Commonwealth of Kentucky was adopted by an Act of the Kentucky General Assembly on April 1, 2002. The legislation was signed by Kentucky Governor Paul E. Patton on April 11, 2002.

The Kentucky Revised Statutes

The following information is excerpted from the Kentucky Revised Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 2.105.

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: Kentucky Revised Statutes, (http://lrc.ky.gov/statrev/frontpg.htm), March 21, 2005
Source: Kentucky General Assembly, (http://lrc.ky.gov/), March 21, 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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