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Alabama Symbols, Emblems, and Honors

for Kids

Official Alabama Motto

Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere

image of Coat of Arms of the State of Alabama

 

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

 

The idea for a motto came from Marie Bankhead Owen, the second director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History. She came up with the idea while searching for a phrase to be put on the state coat of arms. A part of a poem by the 18th-century author Sir William Jones includes the stanza, "What constitutes a state? . . . 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.

 

Sources:

Act 39-140, Acts of Alabama, March 14, 1939

Birmingham News- Age Herald, April 23, 1939

 

Return to Kids' Emblems page

 

Updated: March 29, 2007

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