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Tennessee State Motto

Motto and Nickname

The Tennessee State Motto
The official Tennessee motto was adopted in 1987 and is:

"Agriculture and commerce"

The Meaning of the Tennessee State Motto
The meaning of this famous motto reflects the words on the Great Seal designed in 1796 and relates to the aspirations of the people of the state to achieve success principally via their endeavours in raising livestock, farming and producing crops such as cotton and their ambitions to also succeed in a more diversified economy focussing on tourism, service industries and manufacturing. The state has lived up to the motto embracing trade (business and commerce) and the various forms of the purchase and sale of goods and services.

"Agriculture and commerce"



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

Tennessee State Nickname List
Official Nickname: Volunteer State
Butternut State
Big Bend State
The Mother of Southwestern Statesmen

George Washington


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

The Volunteer State
The official nickname of the Volunteer State alludes to refers to the War of 1812. The War of 1812 (aka the second war of independence)  was a conflict between the United States and Great Britain and its allies. Thousands of brave men from Tennessee volunteered to Governor William Blountís call for enlistment. Leaders of the war included Andrew Jackson, James Madison and Zebulon Pike. The Battle of Baltimore, fought in 1814, inspired the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner" the American national anthem.

The Mother of Southwestern Statesmen
The Mother of Southwestern Statesmen is because Tennessee was the home of three presidents: Andrew Jackson, James Polk, andrew Johnson and a number of other leaders who served with distinction in high government office.

The Southwestern Statesmen - Andrew Jackson, James Polk, and Andrew Johnson

The Butternut State
Butternut trees are a species of walnut native to the eastern United States. Butternuts were the nickname given Confederate soldiers who wore butternut-colored uniforms

The Big Bend State
The Big Bend nickname is a reference to The Indian name for the Tennessee River, "The river with the big bend".


Quotes about Tennessee
Famous quotes about Tennessee include:

"That an equal participation of the free navigation of the Mississippi is one of the inherent rights of the
citizens of the State."

Article 29 of the Tennessee Constitution

"Tennessee will not furnish a single man for the purpose of coercion, but 50,000 if necessary for the defense of our rights and those of our Southern brothers."


Tennessee State Motto for Kids

Learn the meaning of the motto for kids
"Agriculture and commerce" 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 "Volunteer State"
Meaning of the motto and nickname for schools, kids and children

Abraham Lincoln

Tennessee State Motto and Nickname for Kids

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