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What Is the State Motto of New Jersey?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2016
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The state motto of New Jersey is simply “Liberty and Prosperity.” Like a number of other states, New Jersey's state motto was not officially adopted. It has gained acceptance as the unofficial state motto because it is a feature of the state seal. The motto is a reflection of the sentiments felt by the colonists after they declared independence from Britain in 1776.

New Jersey’s seal fully incorporates the state motto because the figures of Ceres and Liberty — both Roman mythical figures — are featured on the seal. Ceres was a roman goddess of grain crops and agriculture, which is why she is featured on the seal as prosperity. Liberty was also the name of an ancient Roman goddess. Underneath the two of them is a banner that bears the state motto of New Jersey, “Liberty and Prosperity,” as well as the date 1776. The first version of the seal was designed in 1777 by Perre Eugene du Simitiere.

New Jersey's state motto is also featured on the state's flag. The New Jersey state flag has a depiction of the state coat of arms in the center of a buff-colored background. The color was chosen by General George Washington, and it is representative of the colors of the uniform of the original Dutch settlers from Holland and the Netherlands. The state motto of New Jersey is written on a bright blue banner that stands out against the buff background.

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New Jersey has several unofficial nicknames. The nickname “The Garden State” is a reference to the New Jersey truck farms that have long provided agricultural and floral products to cities. “The Clam State” is a reference to an abundance of clams found in the Delaware Bay. New Jersey has many mountains, which earned it the nickname of “The Switzerland of America.” “The State of Spain” is a nickname that was borne out of the influence of Joseph Bonaparte, who was a Spanish king that fled to Spain in 1812.

Apart from the state motto of New Jersey, other state symbols include things like the official mammal, which is the horse, and the state bird, which is the eastern goldfinch. New Jersey has a state shell, which is the knobbed whelk, a state fish, which is the brook trout, and a state fruit, which is the blueberry. The purple violet is the state flower, while the red oak is the official state tree.

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