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Official Symbols and Emblems of Alabama

Official Alabama State Motto

 

 

Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere

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"Audemus jura nostra defendere" has been translated as: "We Dare Maintain Our Rights" or "We Dare Defend Our Rights." This Latin phrase is on the state coat of arms completed in 1923.

 

According to a Birmingham News-Age Herald article by Marie Bankhead Owen (the director of the state Archives) dated April 23, 1939, she came upon the idea while searching for "a phrase that would interpret the spirit of our peoples in a terse and energetic sentence." A part of a poem entitled "What Constitutes a State?" by the 18th-century author Sir William Jones found in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations includes the stanza "Men who their duties know. But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain." The motto was translated into Latin by Professor W. B. Saffold, of the University of Alabama.

 

Source:
Act 39-140, Acts of Alabama, March 15, 1939

 

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Updated: February 6, 2014

http:/www.archives.alabama.gov/emblems/st_motto.html