E pluribus unum

E pluribus unum (/ˈiː ˈplɜːrɪbəs ˈuːnəm/; Classical Latin: [ˈeː ˈpluːrɪbʊs ˈuːnũː])—Latin for "Out of many, one"[1][2] (translated as "One out of many"[3] or "One from many")[4]—is a 13-letter traditional motto of the United States, appearing on the Great Seal along with Annuit cœptis (Latin for "he approves the undertaking [lit. 'things undertaken']") and Novus ordo seclorum (Latin for "New order of the ages"), and adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782.[2] Never codified by law, E pluribus unum was considered a de facto motto of the United States[5] until 1956 when the United States Congress passed an act (H. J. Resolution 396), adopting "In God We Trust" as the official motto.[6]

Great Seal of the United States (obverse)
E pluribus unum included in the Great Seal of the United States, being one of the nation's mottos at the time of the seal's creation

Meaning of the motto

SealOfTheUS Prototype
Original 1776 design for the Great Seal by Simitiere. The shields with 13 initials of the colonies linked together with motto.[7]

The meaning of the phrase originates from the concept that out of the union of the original Thirteen Colonies emerged a new single nation.[8] It is emblazoned across the scroll and clenched in the eagle’s beak on the Great Seal of the United States.[8][9]


The thirteen-letter motto was suggested in 1776 by Pierre Eugene du Simitiere to the committee responsible for developing the seal. At the time of the American Revolution, the exact phrase appeared prominently on the title page of every issue of a popular periodical, The Gentleman's Magazine,[10][11] which collected articles from many sources into one magazine. This in turn can be traced back to the London-based Huguenot Peter Anthony Motteux, who used the adage for his The Gentleman's Journal, or the Monthly Miscellany (1692-1694). The phrase is similar to a Latin translation of a variation of Heraclitus's tenth fragment, "The one is made up of all things, and all things issue from the one" (ἐκ πάντων ἓν καὶ ἐξ ἑνὸς πάντα). A variant of the phrase was used in "Moretum", a poem belonging to the Appendix Virgiliana, describing (on the surface at least) the making of moretum, a kind of herb and cheese spread related to modern pesto. In the poem text, color est e pluribus unus describes the blending of colors into one. St Augustine used a variant of the phrase, ex pluribus unum, in his Confessions. But it seems more likely that the phrase refers to Cicero's paraphrase of Pythagoras in his De Officiis, as part of his discussion of basic family and social bonds as the origin of societies and states: "When each person loves the other as much as himself, it makes one out of many (unus fiat ex pluribus), as Pythagoras wishes things to be in friendship."[12]

While Annuit cœptis ("He favors our undertakings") and Novus ordo seclorum ("New order of the ages") appear on the reverse side of the great seal, E pluribus unum appears on the obverse side of the seal (Designed by Charles Thomson), the image of which is used as the national emblem of the United States, and appears on official documents such as passports. It also appears on the seal of the President and in the seals of the Vice President of the United States, of the United States Congress, of the United States House of Representatives, of the United States Senate and on the seal of the United States Supreme Court.

Usage on coins

1807 half dollar rev
Half Dollar (reverse), 1807
Dime E pluribus unum engraving.
1 Dime (United States)
Obverse: Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt, year and US national motto (In God We Trust) Reverse: E pluribus unum, olive branch, torch and oak branch, face-value and country.
Total 86,408,282,060 coins minted from 1965 to 2015.

The first coins with E pluribus unum were dated 1786 and struck under the authorization of the State of New Jersey by Thomas Goadsby and Albion Cox in Rahway, New Jersey.[13] The motto had no New Jersey linkage but was likely an available die that had been created by Walter Mould the previous year for a failed federal coinage proposal.[14] Walter Mould was also authorized by New Jersey to strike state coppers with this motto and did so beginning in early 1787 in Morristown, New Jersey. Lt. Col. Seth Read of Uxbridge, Massachusetts was said to have been instrumental in having E pluribus unum placed on U.S. coins.[15] Seth Read and his brother Joseph Read had been authorized by the Massachusetts General Court to mint coppers in 1786. In March 1786, Seth Read petitioned the Massachusetts General Court, both the House and the Senate, for a franchise to mint coins, both copper and silver, and "it was concurred".[16][17] E pluribus unum, written in capital letters, is included on most U.S. currency, with some exceptions to the letter spacing (such as the reverse of the dime). It is also embossed on the edge of the dollar coin. (See United States coinage and paper bills in circulation).

According to the U.S. Treasury, the motto E pluribus unum was first used on U.S. coinage in 1795, when the reverse of the half-eagle ($5 gold) coin presented the main features of the Great Seal of the United States. E pluribus unum is inscribed on the Great Seal's scroll. The motto was added to certain silver coins in 1798, and soon appeared on all of the coins made out of precious metals (gold and silver). In 1834, it was dropped from most of the gold coins to mark the change in the standard fineness of the coins. In 1837, it was dropped from the silver coins, marking the era of the Revised Mint Code. An Act of February 12, 1873 made the inscription a requirement of law upon the coins of the United States. E pluribus unum appears on all coins currently being manufactured, including the Presidential dollars that started being produced in 2007, where it is inscribed on the edge along with "In God We Trust" and the year and mint mark. After the revolution, Rahway, New Jersey became the home of the first national mint to create a coin bearing the inscription E pluribus unum.

In a quality control error in early 2007 the Philadelphia Mint issued some one-dollar coins without E pluribus unum on the rim; these coins have since become collectibles.

The 2009 and new 2010 penny features a new design on the back, which displays the phrase E pluribus unum in larger letters than in previous years.[1]

Other usages

Scoutspataljon emblem

E pluribus unum in the logo of Estonian Scouts Single Infantry Battalion

See also


  1. ^ a b "e pluribus unum". treasury.gov. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "E Pluribus Unum - Origin and Meaning of the Motto Carried by the American Eagle". Greatseal.com. November 28, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  3. ^ "E Pluribus Unum". Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  4. ^ "E Pluribus Unum". Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  5. ^ H. John Lyke (September 6, 2012). What Would Our Founding Fathers Say?: How Today's Leaders Have Lost Their Way. iUniverse. p. 34.
  6. ^ "Text of H.J.Res. 396 (84th): Joint resolution to establish a national motto of the United States (Passed Congress version) - GovTrack.us". GovTrack.us.
  7. ^ Eagle's Plume: The Struggle to Preserve the Life and Haunts of America's ... By Bruce E. Beans
  8. ^ a b The Great Seal of the United States - U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs (Page: 6)
  9. ^ Eagle's Plume: The Struggle to Preserve the Life and Haunts of America's ... By Bruce E. Beans
  10. ^ "The Gentleman's Magazine". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  11. ^ "The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle". 1747.
  12. ^ Cicero, Marcus Tullius. De Officiis. Book 1, Section 56.
  13. ^ Q. David Bowers. Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins. (Atlanta: Whitman Publishing, 2009) p. 129
  14. ^ Walter Breen. Complete Encyclopedia of US and Colonial Coins. (New York: FCI Press; Doubleday, 1998) p. 78
  15. ^ "Resource center faqs/coins accessed 2011-06-27". Treasury.gov. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  16. ^ "Massachusetts Coppers 1787-1788: Introduction". University of Notre Dame. Retrieved October 9, 2007.
  17. ^ March, 1786 Petition to mint Massachusetts Coppers, source Google books. Books.google.com. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  18. ^ "The Wokingham Borough Coat of Arms". Wokingham Borough. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  19. ^ "I am an American". Ad Council/GSD&M. Retrieved January 3, 2013.

External links

Adam Duritz

Adam Fredric Duritz (born August 1, 1964) is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, and film producer. He is known as the frontman for the rock band Counting Crows, of which he is a founding member and principal composer. Since its founding in 1991, Counting Crows has sold over 20 million records, released four albums that have been certified gold or platinum, and been nominated for two Grammy Awards and an Academy Award.Duritz has recorded solo material of his own and has collaborated with other musical acts. He has also founded two record labels, E Pluribus Unum and Tyrannosaurus Records. His work scoring music for film has been recognized by the music industry, notably with an award from BMI for co-writing the song "Accidentally in Love" for the movie Shrek 2.

Annuit cœptis

Annuit cœptis (; in Classical Latin: [ˈannuɪt ˈkoe̯ptiːs]) is one of two mottos on the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States. (The second motto is Novus ordo seclorum; another motto appears on the obverse (front) side of the Great Seal: E pluribus unum.) Taken from the Latin words annuo (third-person singular present or perfect annuit), "to nod" or "to approve", and coeptum (plural coepta), "commencement, undertaking", it is literally translated, "[providence] favors our undertakings" or "[providence] has favored our undertakings" (annuit could be in either the present or perfect tense).

Burscough Priory Academy

Burscough Priory Academy is an Academy in Burscough, Lancashire, England. It officially opened on 10 June 1958 as Burscough County Secondary School under the Headship of Brian Stone, and cost just over £120,000 to build. The then Edward Stanley, 18th Earl of Derby (1918–1994) presided over the ceremony. At the time of opening, the school's staff of ten teachers looked after 222 pupils.

The school's motto E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One), which is also the motto of the United States, was thought to be appropriate as the new school was created from several all-age schools from around the area. The Academy's intake is around 700 students and caters for 11-to 16-year-olds, with 90 members of staff.

Coinage Act of 1864

The Coinage Act of 1864 was passed on April 22, 1864. The United States federal law changed the composition of the one-cent coin and authorized the minting of the two-cent coin. The Director of the United States Mint developed the designs for these coins for final approval of the Secretary of the Treasury. As a result of this law, the phrase "In God We Trust" first appeared, on the 1864 two-cent coin. An Act of Congress, passed on March 3, 1865, allowed the Mint Director, with the Secretary's approval, to place the phrase on all gold and silver coins that "shall admit the inscription thereon." In 1956, "In God We Trust" replaced "E Pluribus Unum" as the national motto. All currency was printed and minted with the new motto.

Dream This

Dream This is the debut album from Joe 90, released on Adam Duritz's label E Pluribus Unum through Geffen. Rolling Stone said "singer-guitarist Chris Seefried steers along melodically facile, softly yelping rockers like 'Mascara' and 'Drive' - the album's showstopper - with velvety imprecision."

E Pluribus Funk

E Pluribus Funk is Grand Funk Railroad's fifth studio album and was released in November 1971 by Capitol Records. Like previous Grand Funk Railroad albums, it was recorded at Cleveland Recording Company and is the final album produced by Terry Knight. The title is a play on the former motto of the US government, E pluribus unum. The original release cover (designed by Ernie Cefalu) was completely round and covered with a silver-like film to resemble a large coin. The back side of the cover of this album included a die cast picture of Shea Stadium to celebrate Grand Funk beating The Beatles' Shea Stadium attendance record by selling out in just 72 hours.

E Pluribus Unum (Wilson)

E Pluribus Unum is a public artwork proposed by American artist Fred Wilson to be located along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail at the northeast corner of Delaware and Washington streets, near the City-County Building in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, United States.

Funded solely by private donations and fundraising by the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), the sculpture was scheduled to be unveiled on September 22, 2011, the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's initial reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to members of his Cabinet. However, due to an increase of public opposition to the project beginning in September 2010, the future of the statue was discussed in a series of community meetings in 2011. On December 13, 2011 the Central Indiana Community Foundation announced that the project would be temporarily canceled.

E Pluribus Unum (album)

E Pluribus Unum is the third album by folk guitarist Sandy Bull, released in 1969 through Vanguard Records.

Eli Marozzi

Eli Raphael Marozzi (1913–1999) was a sculptor, ceramist, teacher, and illustrator.

He was born in Motegallo, Italy, but came to the United States as a child and grew up in Pennsylvania. He served in the United States military from 1941 to 1943. Marozzi received a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington in 1949 and a master's degree from the University of Hawaii in 1952. His public sculptures include:

Nartanam, a cast white marble aggregate relief sculpture at the Tennent Art Foundation Gallery, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1958

The Cat, a concrete sculpture at Leeward Community College, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1970

As You Like It, terrazzo sculpture at Honolulu Stadium State Park, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1981

E Pluribus Unum, a white Vermont marble sculpture at President Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1982

Kuikahi, a terrazzo sculpture at Waianae High School, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1985In addition to his art and teaching, Marozzi traveled extensively in India, heightening his interest in Indian art and philosophy. His sculpture E Pluribus Unum, installed at Jefferson Elementary School in Honolulu, Hawaii, shows the Indian Hindu influence on the artist's style. He founded the Vedanta Society of Hawaii, and served as president from its inception. He illustrated the book, Buddhist Stories for Children by E. K. Shinkaku Hunt (published by Takiko Ichinose, 1959 ASIN: B0007HEFCU). Marozzi died in a hospice on August 31, 1999 at age 86.

Everyone Can Fly

"Everyone Can Fly" is a song written and performed by Gigolo Aunts and the title song from their 1999 EP, Everyone Can Fly. The song, "Everyone Can Fly" also appears on the 1999 Gigolo Aunts album, Minor Chords and Major Themes. The song is also the featured track on a 1999 promo single.

Fred Jewell

Frederick Alton Jewell (Worthington, Indiana May 28, 1875 - Worthington, Indiana, February 11, 1936), was a prolific musical composer who wrote over 100 marches and screamers, including:

"Battle Royal" (1909)

"Floto's Triumph" (1906)

"Quality Plus" (1913)

"E Pluribus Unum" (1917)

"Supreme Triumph" (1920)

"The Screamer" (1921)

"The Old Circus Band" (1923)At the age of 16, Jewell ran away from home and joined the Gentry Bros. Dog & Pony Show as a euphonium player. He also played the calliope.

After making excellent impressions with successful circus officials, Jewell rose through the ranks. He eventually landed himself as the leader of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus band (like Karl King, another successful American composer of his time). He also played in or directed the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus and the Sells-Floto Circus.

Jewell retired from circuses in 1918. He traveled to Iowa and took leadership of the Iowa Brigade Band. From there he began his own publishing company and moved back to his hometown, Worthington, and served as high school band director, as well as a steady composer of band music. He directed other local bands in Florida and Indiana also.

Frederick Jewell died in 1936 at the age of 61 in Worthington.

Gigolo Aunts

Gigolo Aunts are an American power pop band, who were formed in 1981.

Minor Chords and Major Themes

Minor Chords and Major Themes is a 1999 album by Gigolo Aunts. It includes the songs, "Everyone Can Fly", subsequently featured on the Everyone Can Fly EP, "Everything Is Wrong", co-written by Jane Wiedlin, and "The Big Lie", co-written by Dave Bassett. Minor Chords and Major Themes features the return of producer, Mike Denneen, who also produced the 1993 album, Flippin' Out. The track, "You'd Better Get Yourself Together, Baby" also appears on the Wicked Good Sampler 05 compilation, a 1998 promotional release associated with Newbury Comics released by Universal Music (Catalog Number: UMG3P-21141). The Japanese release of Minor Chords and Major Themes adds the track, "Kinda Girl", which also appears on the Learn to Play Guitar EP.


Mongaguá is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. It is part of the Metropolitan Region of Baixada Santista. The population is 52,492 (2015 est.) in an area of 141.87 km². The name comes from the Tupi language. Its seal carries the national motto of the United States of America, E pluribus unum.

The municipality's street plan is on a planned grid running from SSE to NNW and many of the houses are within sight of the Atlantic Ocean. The populated area of Mongaguá is near the bottom of steep-sloping and densely forested mountains. The BR-101 superhighway linking Santos and the southern part of the state runs through Mongaguá. The freeway to the city of São Paulo is also easily accessible. Housing developments near the beaches were built in the 1970s and the 1990s. Prior to the construction of the housing developments, the population was mainly rural. Housing development continues to this day.

There are two aboriginal villages in Mongaguá: Itaoca and Aguapéu, located in the Atlantic Mata reserve. The aboriginal community of Aguapéu conceived of the project Jaguatareí Nhemboé (Walking and Learning).

Neilson Hubbard

Neilson Hubbard is an American singer-songwriter, musician and producer. His first band was called This Living Hand formed with Clay Jones. They signed to Adam Duritz's label, E Pluribus Unum. After the band split up, Hubbard went on to record three solo albums, The Slide Project, Why Men Fail and Sing Into Me. He also collaborated with Matthew Ryan to form the band Strays Don't Sleep.

Seal of Michigan

The Great Seal of the State of Michigan depicts the coat of arms of the U.S. state of Michigan on a light blue field. On the dark blue shield the sun rises over a lake and peninsula, a man holding a long gun with a raised hand represents peace and the ability to defend his rights. The elk and moose are symbols of Michigan, while the bald eagle represents the United States.

The design features three Latin mottos. From top to bottom they are:

On the red ribbon: E Pluribus Unum, "Out of many, one," a motto of the United States

On the blue shield: Tuebor, "I will defend"

On the white ribbon: Si Quæris Peninsulam Amœnam Circumspice, "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you," which is the official state motto. It was adopted in 1835 and said to have been suggested by the tribute to architect Christopher Wren at Saint Paul's Cathedral in London, which reads Si monumentum requiris, circumspice (Latin "If you seek [his] monument, look around you").The seal was adopted on June 22, 1835.Public Act 19 of 1963 states that "The great seal shall be comprised of the coat of arms of the state around which shall appear the words 'great seal of the state of Michigan, A.D. MDCCCXXXV.' "

Seal of Wisconsin

The Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin is a seal used by the secretary of state to authenticate all of the governor’s official acts, except laws. It consists of the state coat of arms, with the words "Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin" above it and 13 stars, representing the original states, below it.


Forward, the state motto

A badger, the state animal

Center, the state shield:

Top left: A plow, representing agriculture

Top right: A pick and shovel, representing mining

Bottom left: An arm-and-hammer, representing manufacturing

Bottom right: An anchor, representing navigation

Center: The U.S. coat of arms, including the motto E Pluribus Unum

The shield is supported by a sailor and a yeoman (usually considered a miner), representing labor on water and land


A cornucopia, representing prosperity and abundance

13 lead ingots, representing mineral wealth and the 13 original United StatesThe state seal emphasizes mining and shipping because at the time of Wisconsin's founding in 1848 the mining of lead and iron and shipping (via the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River) were major industries.

The Secretary of State is the keeper of Wisconsin's great seal. The seal is displayed in all courtrooms in the state, often alongside the county seal.

Seth Read

Seth Read (March 6, 1746 – March 19, 1797) was born in Uxbridge, Worcester County, Massachusetts, and died at Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania, as "Seth Reed", at age 51.

Shire of Boulia

The Shire of Boulia is a local government area in Central West Queensland, bordering the Northern Territory. Its administrative centre is in the town of Boulia.It covers an area of 61,102.0 square kilometres (23,591.6 sq mi), and has existed as a local government entity since 1887. The main industry in the shire is beef production.

The shire is known for the unexplained phenomenon of the Min Min light, a light that has been reported to follow travellers in the area for some distance before disappearing.

On its logo, the Shire has the motto E pluribus unum.

United States currency and coinage
Current coinage
Bullion coinage
Current paper money
See also

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