Missouri State Motto
|Salus populi suprema lex esto.
|Translation:The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law.
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? ]
The Missouri Revised Statutes
Like many states, Missouri's motto is not an official state motto, as such, but is accepted as an element of its official seal.
The following information is excerpted from the Missouri Revised Statutes, Title 2, Chapter 10,
TITLE II - SOVEREIGNTY, JURISDICTION AND EMBLEMS.
CHAPTER 10 - STATE EMBLEMS.
Seal of state--device. 10.060. The device for an armorial achievement for the state of Missouri is as follows: Arms, parted per pale, on the dexter side; gules, the white or grizzly bear of Missouri, passant guardant, proper on a chief engrailed; azure, a crescent argent; on the sinister side, argent, the arms of the United States, the whole within a band inscribed with the words "UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL". For the crest, over a helmet full-faced, grated with six bars; or, a cloud proper, from which ascends a star argent, and above it a constellation of twenty-three smaller stars, argent, on an azure field, surrounded by a cloud proper. Supporters on each side, a white or grizzly bear of Missouri, rampant, guardant proper, standing on a scroll, inscribed with the motto, "Salus populi suprema lex esto", and under the scroll the numerical letters MDCCCXX. And the great seal of the state shall be so engraved as to present by its impression the device of the armorial achievement aforesaid, surrounded by a scroll inscribed with the words, "THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI", in roman capitals, which seal shall be in a circular form and not more than two and a half inches in diameter.
(RSMo 1939 § 15437, RSMo 1949 § 10.110, A.L. 1957 p. 726)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 14312; 1919 § 11608; 1909 § 11180
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A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals,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: Missouri Revised Statutes, (http://www.moga.state.mo.us/STATUTES/STATUTES.HTM), March 23, 2005
Source: Missouri Official Manual (Blue Book), (http://www.sos.mo.gov/BlueBook/default.aspx), March 23, 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