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State Mottos

E pluribus unum


Theodore Roosevelt

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Minnesota State Motto

Motto and Nickname

The Minnesota State Motto
The Minnesota was adopted in 1861 and is expressed in French as "L'Etoile du nord" which means:

"The Star of the North"

The Meaning of the Minnesota State Motto
This is the only French motto that has been adopted by any of the States of America. It was chosen by Henry Hastings Sibley (1811 - 1891) who was the first Governor of the U.S. state of Minnesota. The inspiration for the motto is unclear and most people associate it to French traders. But it is possible that Sibley was inspired by the opera "L'Etoile du nord" by by Giacomo Meyerbeer. It was first performed in 1854 and was a big success in America. The opera features stirring military music which perhaps inspired patriotic fervor.

"The Star of the North"


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

Minnesota State Nickname List
Official Nickname: North Star State
Land of 10,000 Lakes
The Wheat State
Bread and Butter State and the Gopher State

George Washington


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

The North Star State
The official nickname alludes to to the French motto.

The Land of 10,000 Lakes
The Land of 10,000 Lakes refers to the numerous lakes found in the region. The lakes number 11,842 that are over 10 acres in size. The Three Largest Lakes located entirely within the borders of Minnesota are the Red Lake (288,800 acres), the Mille Lacs Lake (132,516 acres) and the Leech Lake (111,527 acres).

The Wheat State
The Wheat nickname refers to the high yielding cash crop grown in Minnesota. Wheat is a cereal grain used in products such as cereals, cakes, bread and cookies. The wheat crop is also utilized in these other products such as wood, paper, adhesives, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

The Bread and Butter State
As wheat is used to make bread and as the crop has such important economic influence on Minnesota the Bread and Butter nickname is an obvious choice.

The Gopher State
The Gopher is burrowing rodent native to America. The gopher has a thick set body, short legs, and cheek pouches. It is also a pun on "Go for".


The Constitution of Minnesota
The constitution of Minnesota 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 Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings and secure the same to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution."

Preamble of the Constitution of Minnesota


Minnesota State Motto for Kids

Learn the meaning of the motto for kids
"The Star of the North" 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, info and picture of the flag
Official Nickname "North Star"
Meaning of the motto and nickname for schools, kids and children

Abraham Lincoln

Minnesota State Motto and Nickname for Kids

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