ALABAMA (WKRG) — You’ve probably heard of a state flag or even a state bird, but what about a state motto? That’s right, every state has an official state motto, according to Statesymbolusa.org.
As for the Yellowhammer state, the motto is “We Dare Defend our Rights” or the Latin-translation, Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere.
According to the website, the inspiration for Alabama’s state motto came from a poem from 18th century author Sir Williams Jones. The poem is An Ode In Imitation of Alcaeus, written in 1781. The question “What constitutes a state?” is posed in the poem.
Stanza included in the poem:
“What constitutes a state? . . .
Men who their duties know,
but know their rights,
and knowing, dare maintain.”
“We Dare Defend our Rights” is the state’s second motto. “Here We Rest” was in place from after the Civil War for about 70 years. In 1939, the state legislature adopted an Alabama Coat-of-Arms and the new state motto.
The idea of the state motto came from Marie Bankhead Owen of the Alabama Department of Archives and History while “she was searching for a phrase to put on the state’s coats of arms,” according to the website.