Arkansas State Motto

Motto and Nickname

The Arkansas State Motto
The Arkansas motto is expressed in Latin as "Regnat populus" which means:

"The people rule"

The Meaning of the Arkansas State Motto
The meaning of the famous Motto reflects the aspirations and concepts of freedom of the people, justice and independence to rule. The motto reflects the history of the War of Independence and the part Alabama played in the American Civil War. The Arkansas motto was adopted when the words "Regnat populus" were  included in the official seal. The American citizens who live in, or who come from Arkansas, are referred to as Arkansans.

"The people rule"



The History and Pronunciation of the Name
The name 'Arkansas' reflects the Kansas American Native Indian tribe is a member of the Sioux nation who originally occupied the state. There was much debate on how the name should be pronounced. The debate about how the name should be pronounced (Ar"Kansas" or Arkan"saw") was resolved by the Arkansas General Assembly in 1881 who passed a resolution that declared that the name should be spelled "Arkansas" but pronounced "Arkansaw." The 's' is not pronounced as a throwback to the early French speaking inhabitants.


The Arkansas State Nickname
The Arkansas Motto is complimented by a less formal, popular Arkansas nickname which, combined with the motto, are highly descriptive of the people, the geography and the history of the state. The names used as nicknames are:

Arkansas State Nickname List
Official Nickname: Natural State
Land of Opportunity
Razorback State
Wonder State and Bear State
The Toothpick State and the Bowie State

George Washington


The Origin and Meaning of the Arkansas Nicknames
The history, origin and meaning of each of the state's nicknames are as follows:

The Natural State
The name Natural refers to the natural beauty and abundant wildlife in the region. There is a great variety of beautiful landscapes from dense woodland to fertile plains and from valleys to mountains. The natural beauty of the state and its opportunities for fishing in the clear streams and lakes attract many tourists to the region. Arkansas boasts 3 national forests, Ouachita and Ozark national parks and 52 state parks.

The Bear (pronounced "Bar") and the Wonder State
The name 'wonder' was used in an earlier nickname but was not believed to fully convey the opportunities of the region and was subsequently replaced by the 'Land of Opportunity. The reference to bears relates to the vast number of black bears (Ursus americanus luteolus) that originally roamed the lands.

The Land of Opportunity
The Land of Opportunity alludes to a optimistic outlook for the development of business, industry, and agriculture in the region.

The Toothpick or the Bowie State
These nicknames are direct references to the names given to the common sheath, throwing or belt knives that were used by the original pioneers and settlers in the region. The Bowie knife was first made James Black for Jim Bowie, hence its name. The legendary Bowie knife was described as "sharp enough for shaving, heavy enough to be handled as a hatchet, as long as a sword, and broad enough to paddle with".

The Razorback
A razorback (Sus scrofa scrofa) is the name for a wild boar with long, coarse hair that sometimes forms in a tuft along their back (hence, the name razorback). The razorback serves as an emblem for athletes in the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Fans of the athlete's team shout a chant derived from a hog farmers' call.


Arkansas State Creed
A creed is a statement of beliefs and compliments its motto. The Arkansas creed is detailed below.

"I believe in Arkansas as a land of opportunity and
promise.I believe in the rich heritage of Arkansas and
I honor the men and women who created this heritage.
I bellieve in the youth of Arkansas who will build our
future. I am proud of my state, I will uphold its
constitution, obey its laws, and work for the good of
all its citizens."

Arkansas Creed


Arkansas State Motto for Kids

Learn the meaning of the motto for kids
"The people rule" Arkansas motto
Find the meaning of the Motto and nickname
Meaning, History and Origin of the motto for kids
Meaning, origin and history of the motto
Interesting facts on the motto, info & picture of flag
Official Arkansas Nickname "Natural State"
Meaning of the motto and nickname for schools, kids and children

Abraham Lincoln

Arkansas State Motto and Nickname for Kids

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