South Dakota State Motto

South Dakota Motto

Under God the People Rule


South Dakota’s official state motto is “Under God the People Rule.” This phrase appears on the inner circle of South Dakota’s state seal.

The original design of the Great Seal of South Dakota, including the motto “Under God the People Rule”, was initially suggested by Dr. Joseph Ward, the founder of Yankton College. After the Constitutional Convention of 1885, the final design with the motto was adopted and later modified in 1889.