Attempting to characterize an entire state by its motto alone would be unfair, but state mottos do provide an interesting glimpse into a state’s history and the priorities of its people. If there was ever any doubt that the United States is a nation defined by diversity, a quick glance at each state’s motto will put it to bed.
This map, created for CashNetUSA and posted on Reddit by user ivyplant, lists all of the states’ mottos. It’s immediately obvious how certain areas of the country seem to share certain values. New England’s mottos hark back to the country’s founding, with liberty-driven sentiments like “Live Free or Die,” “Freedom & Unity,” and “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence.” In the South and Midwest, the emphasis seems to be more on personal values and faith. Texas’ “Friendship,” Florida’s “In God We Trust,” Oklahoma’s “Work Conquers All,” Colorado’s “Nothing Without the Deity,” and South Dakota’s “Under God, the People Rule,” really drive home the importance of religion and hard work.
Other interesting and fitting mottos include Montana’s “Gold and Silver” — a reference to its Gold Rush past — Alaska’s “North to the Future,” and Michigan’s rather literal “If You Seek a Pleasant Peninsula, Look About You.”