Michigan Flag

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State Mottos

E pluribus unum


Theodore Roosevelt


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Michigan State Motto

Motto and Nickname

The Michigan State Motto
The Michigan motto was adopted in 1835 and is expressed in Latin as "Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice" which means:

"If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you"

The Meaning of the Michigan State Motto
The meaning of this famous motto was inspired by an inscription above the tomb of the great architect Sir Christopher Wren St. Paul's Cathedral in London. The words read "Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice"  which translates as "Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you". The motto is featured on the flag.

"If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you"



The Upper Peninsula of Michigan
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the northern of the two major land masses that make up the US state of Michigan.


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

Michigan State Nickname List
Official Nickname: Great Lakes State
Mitten State
Winter Water Wonderland
Wolverine State and the Automotive State

George Washington


The Origin and Meaning of the Michigan Nicknames
The American citizens who live in, or who come from Michigan, are referred to as Michiganians, Michiganders or Michiganites.. The history, origin and meaning of each of the state's nicknames are as follows:

The Great Lakes State
The official nickname alludes to the magnificent geographical feature - the Great Lakes.  Nearly half of Michigan is comprised of water and Lake Michigan, is the third largest of the Great Lakes. It is the largest freshwater lake entirely within the borders of the United States.

The Mitten State
Michigan takes the "Mitten" nickname from the hand-like mitten glove shape of the Lower Peninsula.

The Winter Water Wonderland
The "Water Wonderland," slogan is because there are more than 11,000 inland lakes in Michigan which is also bordered by the four of the Great Lakes. The slogan "Winter Water Wonderland" appeared on Michigan vehicle license plates in 1954. The slogan was modified to "Water-Winter Wonderland" in 1965.

The Wolverine State
Wolverines were never found in Michigan. The Wolverine nickname derives from the activities of the early fur traders who brought wolverine skins to trading posts in the region.

The Automotive State
The Automotive  nickname refers to Michiigan as the world's traditional automotive center. Detroit was once the famous center of the American automobile industry and an important source of popular music celebrated by the Detroits's two familiar nicknames, the Motor City and Motown.


The Constitution of Michigan
The constitution of Michigan 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 the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, and earnestly desiring to secure these blessings undiminished to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution."

Preamble of the Constitution of Michigan


Michigan State Motto for Kids

Learn the meaning of the motto for kids
"If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you"
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, info and picture of the flag
Official Nickname "Great Lakes State"
Meaning of the motto and nickname for schools, kids and children

Abraham Lincoln

Michigan State Motto and Nickname for Kids

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