New Jersey State Motto
|Liberty and Prosperity
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 New Jersey Statutes
Like many states, New Jersey's state motto is not the official state motto, as such, but is accepted
as an element of its official seal.
The following information is excerpted from the New Jersey Statutes, Title 52,
TITLE 52 - STATE GOVERNMENT, DEPARTMENTS AND OFFICERS.
52:2-1. Description of great seal of state The great seal of this state shall be engraved on silver, which shall be round, of two and a half inches in diameter and three-eighths of an inch thick; the arms shall be three ploughs in an escutcheon, azure; supporters, Liberty and Ceres. The Goddess Liberty to carry in her dexter hand a pole, proper, surmounted by a cap gules, with band azure at the bottom, displaying on the band six stars, argent; tresses falling on shoulders, proper; head bearing over all a chaplet of laurel leaves, vert; overdress, tenne; underskirt, argent; feet sandaled, standing on scroll. Ceres: Same as Liberty, save overdress, gules; holding in left hand a cornucopia, or, bearing apples, plums and grapes surrounded by leaves, all proper; head bearing over all a chaplet of wheat spears, vert. Shield surmounted by sovereign's helmet, six bars, or; wreath and mantling, argent and azure. Crest: A horse's head, proper. Underneath the shield and supporting the goddesses, a scroll azure, bordered with tenne, in three waves or folds; on the upper folds the words "Liberty and Prosperity" ; on the under fold in Arabic numerals, the figures "1776" . These words to be engraved round the arms, viz., "The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey" .
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A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals,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: New Jersey Legislature, (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/), 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