Massachusetts State Motto

Massachusetts Motto

Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem

The official state motto of Massachusetts is “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem” which is Latin for “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.” The Latin motto was adopted in 1775 by the Provincial Congress and appears on the state’s coat of arms. The phrase was written about 1659 and is accredited to the famous English patriot, Algernon Sydney.

The state’s coat of arms appears on both the state flag and state seal of Massachusetts.