Rhode Island State Motto

Rhode Island Motto

Hope

The official state motto of Rhode Island, “Hope,” is simple and beautiful. The state motto appears on the arms of the state and consequently on the great seal and state flag of Rhode Island.

There isn’t any official documentation from the time when Rhode Island first adopted this motto that would explain why this word was chosen.

It is known that the Rhode Island General Assembly first adopted a Seal for the colony containing an anchor with the word “Hope” above it on May 4, 1664.  The most probable explanation to the origin of “Hope” in this context comes from the historical notes of Howard M. Chapin published in Illustrations Of The Seals, Arms And Flags Of Rhode Island, printed by the Rhode Island Historical Society in 1930. Mr. Chapin wrote that the words and emblems on the seal were most likely inspired by the biblical phrase, “hope we have as an anchor of the soul.”