Maine State Motto

Motto and Nickname

The Maine State Motto
The Maine motto was adopted in 1820 and is expressed in Latin as "Dirigo!" which means:

"I guide"

The Meaning of the Maine State Motto
The translation is also made as "I direct". The meaning of this famous motto reflects the idea that just as a star guides a sailor home as the State of Maine guides its citizens toward the concept of patriotism, family and of home. The "Polar Star" is the brightest star in Ursa Minor. It features on the flag of Maine representing a specific point of reference and conveys trust in the permanent nature of the star, and therefore Maine.

"I guide"


The Maine State Nickname
The Maine Motto is complimented by a less formal, popular Maine 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:

Maine State Nickname
Official Nickname: Pine Tree State
Down East
The Polar Star State

George Washington


The Origin and Meaning of the Maine Nicknames
The People who live in or come from Maine are called Mainers. The history, origin and meaning of each of the state's nicknames are as follows:

The Polar Star State
The Polar Star connection is explained above in the origin of the motto.

The Pine Tree State
The official nickname alludes to the numerous pine tree forests of the region - there are 17 million acres of forest areas. The white pine (Pinus strobus) was adopted as the official state tree in 1945 and prominently features on the flag. The white pine is a tall-growing pine with long needles and very flexible limbs with a smooth grey-white bark.

Down East
Down East is another connection to mariners. When ships sailed from Boston to ports in Maine (which were to the east of Boston), the wind was behind them, so they were sailing downwind, hence the term 'Down East.'

The Vacationland
The Vacationland alludes to popularity of the area with summer tourists with its spectacular coasts and beaches.


The Constitution of Maine
The constitution of Maine establishes the basic rights of its citizens and echoes the words and sentiments of the motto. The preamble (opening) of the constitution is as follows:

"We the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for our mutual defense, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the design; and, imploring God's aid and direction in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the style and title of the State of Maine and do ordain and establish the following Constitution
for the government of the same."


Maine State Motto for Kids

Learn the meaning of the motto for kids
"I guide" motto
Find the meaning of the Motto and nickname
Meaning, History and Origin of the motto for kids
Meaning, origin and history of the nickname
Interesting facts, info and picture of the flag
Official Nickname "Pine Tree State"
Meaning of the motto and nickname for schools, kids and children

Abraham Lincoln

Maine State Motto and Nickname for Kids

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