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What Is the State Motto of Oklahoma?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2016
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The state motto of Oklahoma is Labor Omnia Vincit, a Latin phrase meaning “Labor Conquers all Things.” This motto was first incorporated into the state’s seal in 1893, during the second session of the Territorial Legislative Assembly. In 1907, the phrase was adopted as a permanent feature of the State Seal of the State of Oklahoma. Another important event occurred in 1907, when the Indian territory joined the Oklahoma territory to form the 46th state in the United States, what is now present-day Oklahoma.

Virgil, a Roman poet, was the inspiration for Oklahoma’s state motto. He had written a book titled Georgics where he wrote “Labor omina uicit improbus,” which literally translates to “uphill work transforms all things.” The main thrust of Virgil’s book was a description of methods that could be used to increase agricultural production based on a policy introduced by Augustus Caeser, named “Back to the Land.”

The state motto of Oklahoma is also indicative of the type of people who inhabit the state. This is due to the fact that a state motto is often a reflection of the beliefs and character of that state's citizens. The name Oklahoma is derived from a Choctaw Indian term, ”okla humma.” Okla means "people," while humma means "red."

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Oklahoma’s state seal features a blue-colored circle within a larger circle dotted with 45 tiny white stars, representing the 45 states in the United States. Within the blue circle is a five-pointed star bearing different symbols at the end of each point. These symbols are the seals of five Indian tribes. These tribes include Chickasaw, Seminole, Choctaw, Cherokee and Creek. Within the star, there is another smaller circle within which the state motto of Oklahoma is inscribed.

Some states feature their state motto on their flags. The state motto of Oklahoma is not featured on its flag, rather, the flag has a depiction of an Osage warrior’s shield. The shield on the flag is made from buffalo hide and is adorned with six crosses. Seven feathers are attached to the sides and lower end of the shield.

Other interesting facts apart from the state motto of Oklahoma include other symbols that have been officially adopted by the state. For instance, the official game bird of Oklahoma is the wild turkey, while the official butterfly is the black swallowtail. Other state symbols include the bullfrog, which is the state amphibian, and the white bass, which is the official fish.

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