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July Fourth and State Mottos

July 4, 2013
Flags were hoisted atop the White Mountains for an American holiday observance. Quite a sight.

Flags were hoisted atop the White Mountains for an American holiday observance. Quite a sight.

The fourth of July signals celebrations around the United States honoring the independent spirit and courage of the diverse explorers, settlers and immigrants to this country. I cherish my right to exercise independent thinking and free speech and value the opportunity to share my unique perspectives on life and to read yours. Here’s to the blog world and the internet and their impact on free communication worldwide.

Many of us laugh at ourselves and moan, “I don’t know much about history,’’ but do we ever stop to find out more?  On this patriotic American holiday I started thinking, “Okay, what do I have to say about this day that would be different than the same old, “Happy Fourth of July”?   So my mind started wandering to how different parts of this huge and diverse country view this holiday. I thought of state identities and the exploring and settling of this vast and varied land. I daydreamed about my recent trip to Texas, the Lone Star State, and how proud Texans are of their unique heritage and fierce spirit of self-rule. Being so profoundly loyal to their unique identity, do they plunge as wholeheartedly into the nation-wide celebrations as we do in New England? I will have to ask my daughter who lives in Texas now.

The topic of independence and freedom is not that simple. You need to consider the Civil War, pitting of one part of the early union against the other.  And let’s not forget the Native Americans who actually lost more of their independence in the years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  But those topics can’t be tackled in a blog post that has to be published today. So I chose to start my search with state mottos and their connection to what really makes up The United States of America.

The state mottos turn out to be fascinating and I have to apologize that I am just giving a sampling to whet your appetite.  See if you can match the motto to its state and then check your guesses.

Mottos:

  1. He who transplanted sustains
  2. I lead
  3. By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.
  4. Mountaineers are always free.
  5. Manly deeds, womanly words.
  6. Live Free or Die
  7. To be, rather than to seem
  8. If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you
  9. By and By
  10. One sows for the benefit of another age
  11. Freedom and Unity

Answers:

  • By and By:  Washington
  • By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty: Massachusetts
  • To be, rather than to seem:   North Carolina
  • If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you: Michigan
  • Freedom and Unity: Vermont
  • I lead: Maine
  • Live Free or Die: New Hampshire
  • He who transplanted sustains: Connecticut. (could be a typo.)
  • Mountaineers are always free: West Virginia
  • Manly deeds, womanly words: Maryland
  • One sows for the benefit of another age: North Dakota

Don’t you love these? My favorites are, “Mountaineers are always free” and “To be, rather than to seem.” State slogans are also interesting but I will leave you to link to them yourself.

How does my thinking relate to my blog, “Outdoors Indoors”?  Well, I thought of fireworks (outdoors), my state’s famous white mountains and granite (outdoors) and the exploration and settling of this land (outdoors) and voila you have me staying indoors sitting at my computer hunting around for answers  instead of going out into the sunny morning New England weather before the heat and humidity (outdoors) creeps sky high today and all the family is huddled indoors with windows closed, shades down and fans swirling noisily locking the outdoors out… Maybe you are heading to the beach, or the mountains or  the nearest park.  Enjoy. (My husband is disabled with a sports injury so we need to stay home. Bummer.)

Now I need to get away from this computer and enjoy this celebratory day; the day that our crazy, diverse, beautiful united country claims as its birth date… Independence Day. Happy 4th!

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