Mottoes

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Heraldry of the World
The main resource for civic heraldry since 1996 with 108,087 images


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Mottoes used in civic heraldry

Mottoes are very common in the British-style heraldry (UK, Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand), and much less common in other countries. Therefore the large majority of the mottoes listed here are from towns and councils in the British heraldic region.

If you see a motto on the site that is not yet listed here or have any other addition,
please mail me !

Only true mottoes are listed here, no town names in banners around the arms.

The mottoes are listed by language and sorted by first letter. For clarity no capital letters are used, except the first letter as well as personal or town names. A translation in English is provided when available.

As this page got too large, mottoes in the following languages are separated :

Mottoes in African languages

Mottoes with any African language as the original language. For Afrikaans, see Dutch, for Malagasy, see below.

Motto Language Translation in English Used by
!ke e:/xarra//ke Khoisan South Africa
Elimu tiba utafiti Swahili Medicine education research Muhimbili University
Harambee Swahili Synergy Kenya
Imbumba yamanyama Xhosa Unity is strength Transkei
Inqubekela phambili ngobuqotho Zulu Service delivery with integrity Zululand
Kathleho ka kopano ? Free State
Khotso pula nala Sotho Peace, rain, prosperity Lesotho
Kutiina mukama niyo nsibuko y’amagezi Nyoro For God and my country Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara
Luyemi Hamoho Lozi East Caprivi
Masisukume sakhe Zulu Let us rise and built KwaZulu-Natal
Natulenge juu ? ? Starehe Boys' Centre and School
Pamberi nekushandira pamwe Shona Marching forward in co-operation Chitungwiza
Pamberi nekushandira vanhu Shona Forward with service to the people Harare
Popa popa e a popela Tswana He who builds, builds for himself Tswanaland
Pula Setswana Rain Botswana
Si ye pambili Sindebele Let us go forward Bulawayo
Syinqaba Swati We are a fortress Swaziland
Thuto ke thebe Setswana University of Botswana
Tunga nombili Oshiwambo Owamboland
Ubumwe – umurimo – gukunda ighihugu Kinyarwanda Unity, work, patriotism Rwanda
Yinkhaba Swati Manzini

Mottoes in Celtic languages

Mottoes with Gaelic (Irish), Breton or Cornish as the original language. For Welsh, see below.

Motto Translation in English Language Used by
Ag Seo Ár gCúram This we hold in trust Irish South Dublin
Beart do réir ár mbriathar Action according to our word Irish Dublin (county)
Feor magh eanagh Irish Fermanagh (county)
Flúirse Talaimh is Mara Abundance of land and sea Irish Fingal
Kaër é mem bro Breton Locmariaquer
Kensa ha dewetha First and last Cornish Penwith
Ó Chuan go Sliabh From harbor to mountain Irish Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown
Ro an mor Gift from the sea Cornish Newquay
Ro an mor hag an tyr From the sea and from the land Cornish Restormel
Unanet e vimp kreñv United we are stronger Breton Quimper
War zao atao Always beginning Breton Lannion

Mottoes in Dutch or Afrikaans

Mottoes with Dutch or Afrikaans as the original language.

Motto Translation in English Used by
Dispereert niet (also Ende dispereert niet) Batavia
Eendragt maakt magt Transvaal Province, Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
Handhaaf en bou Despatch
Geloof en moed Omaruru
Heldhaftig - vastberaden - barmhartig Amsterdam
Jahweh is mijn god Jahweh is my god Basiliek van de H. Petrus te Boxmeer
Niet zonder arbyt Not without labour Chesterton, South Cambridgeshire
Sterker door strijd Rotterdam
Trouw en liefde Gent
Volhard en oorwin Otavi
Vooruitgang deur volharding Karasburg
Vrede en recht Peace and Justice 's Gravenhage/The Hague

Mottoes in French

Mottoes with French as the original language.

Motto Translation in English Used by
Absit invidia Let there be no ill-will Limavady
Avant garde Vanguard Havant
Beau sejour Have a beautiful stay Budleigh Salterton
De bon cuor Walton-le-Dale
Je maintendrai Netherlands, Hofstra University
Le jour viendra The day will come Lambton
L’union fait la force Sint-Joost-ten-Node
Non sanz droict Not without right (Norman French) Warwickshire
Nous sommes prêts Ready to act Fareham
Prest a faire Ready to act Fareham
Prest pour nostre pays Ready for our country Welton
Sans dieu rien Without God nothing Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Wanganui
Sur terre et sur mer, Berthier toujours plus fier By sea and by land, Berthier always prouder Berthier-sur-Mer
Travail – liberté - patrie Work – librty - fatherland Togo
Un people – un but – une foi One people – one goal – one faith Senegal
Ung par tout – tout par ung Southampton (Bermuda)
Union – travail - justice Union – labour - justice Gabon
Unité – dignité - travail Unity – dignity - labour Central African Republic
Unité – travail - progress Unity – labour - progress Burundi, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville)

Mottoes in Frisian

Mottoes with Frisian as the original language.

Motto Translation in English Used by
In doarp riist ut 'e puollen De Tynje

Mottoes in German

Mottoes with German as the original language.

Motto Translation in English Used by
Glück auf Tsumeb

Mottoes in Greek

Mottoes with ancient or modern Greek as the original language.

Motto Translation in English Used by
ΘΑΛΑΣΣΑ ΚΛΥΖΕΙ ΠΑΝΤΑ ΤΑΝΘΡΩΠΩΝ ΚΑΚΑ Tenby

Mottoes in Indonesian

Mottoes with Bahasa Indonesia or any other native language in Indonesia as the original language.

Motto Translation in English Used by
Bhinneka tunggal Ika Unity in diversity Indonesia
Gemah ripah loh jinawi Cirebon
Gemah ripah repeh rapih Richness for all and living in harmony Jawa Barat
Jer basuki mawa bea Achievements are only won through sacrifice Jawa Timur
Karya swadaya On own power Papua
Soerâ-ing-bâjâ Virtue in battle Surabaya

Mottoes in Malagasy

Mottoes with Malagasy as the original language.

Motto Translation in English Used by
Asa filamnaha fahasambarana Morondava
Asa fa tsy kabary Mananjary
Azanahary tsy mitany ny vaka Antsiranana
Betsimisaraka tsy misara – draha magnano Fenoarivo Atsinanana
Fanjaiysy noreky taretsy Antsohihy
Fiaraha miasa no hery Maintirano
Fiherenana no naha toly ary Tulear
Ho velona fa tsy ho levona Mahajanga
Izay mitambatra vato Ambatondrazaka
Lakana tsara voha manafak’ onja Toamasina
Nosy magnitry Nosy Be
Ny asa no harena Antalaha
Ny toky fitaka fa ny ata ro hita Ambalavao
Rano masina rano manoro Antsirabe
Soa fianatsa ro mahovokatsa Fianarantsoa

Mottoes in Old Norse

Mottoes with Old Norse as the original language.

Motto Translation in English Used by
Með lögum skal land byggja By law shall the land be built up Zetland, Shetland Islands

Mottoes in Polynesian languages

Mottoes with any Polynesian language as the original language.

Motto Langauge Translation in English Used by
Long God yumi stanap Bislama In God we stand Vanuatu
Rerevaka na kalou ka doka na Tui Fijian Fear God and honour the King Fiji
Te mauri, te raoi ao te tabomoa' Gilbertese Kiribati
Te pai me te whairawa Maori Waitakere
Tokelau mo te Atua Tokelauan Tokelau for God Tokelau
Tuituia mai tatou Maori Let us all be united Birkenhead (New Zealand)
Tuvalu mo te Atua Tuvalan Tuvalu for God Tokelau

Mottoes in Portuguese

Mottoes with Portuguese as the original language.

Motto Translation in English Used by
Mui nobre e sempre leal cidade de Lisboa Lisboa
Terra Prodígio Iacri
Unidade, disciplina, trabalho Unity, discipline, labour São Tomé e Príncipe

Mottoes in Spanish

Mottoes with Spanish as the original language.

Motto Translation in English Used by
Dios, unión, libertad God, union, liberty El Salvador
Unidad, paz, justicia Unity, peace, justice Equatorial Guinea


Mottoes in Welsh

Mottoes with Welsh as the original language.

Motto Translation in English Used by
A ddioddefws a orfu He who suffered, conquered Glamorgan, Mid Glamorgan
A fynno Duw a fydd Cowbridge RDC
A vo penn bit pont He who will be chief, let him be a bridge Bridgend
Amser yw'n golud Ystradgynlais
Awn rhagom Cowbridge
Cadarn pob cyfiawn The just are strong West Glamorgan
Cadernid cyfiawndr cynndd Stability, justice, progress Barry
Canmol dy fro a thrig yno Commend thy locality and dwell therein Brecon
Cyfoeth cymdeithas: cymuned A society's wealth is its community Llanelli
Cynyddaf a llawenychaf I grow and I rejoice Prestatyn
Dawn gorau dyngarwch A nation's wealth is freedom Ceredigion
Diogel dan ddinefwr Safe under Dinefwr Dinefwr
Duw a digon With God, enough Denbighshire
Duwioldeb diwydrwydd Godliness and industry Port Talbot Borough, Port Talbot
Ewch yn uwch Higher and higher Radnorshire, Radnorshire District Council
Gorau gweithio-cyd weithio The best service is co-operation Maesteg
Golud gwlad rhydidd A nation's wealth is freedom Ceredigion
Gorau moes gwasanaeth The best way of life is service Aberystwyth Borough
Gorau nawwd, nawwd duw Hawarden
Gorau tarian cyfiawnder The best shield is justice Flintshire, Islwyn
Gwasanaeth a gwerin Alyn and Deeside
Gwella braint heb golli bro Vaynor and Penderyn
Gwerth cyngor gwasanaeth The virtue of a council is its service Glyndŵr
Gwirionedd undod a chytgord University of Cardiff
Hanfod tref trefn The essential of a good town is orderliness Ammanford
Hwy clod na golud Fame outlasts wealth Rhondda
Iechyd ac addysg Health and learning Ebbw Vale
Iechyd harddwch heddwch Health, beauty, tranquillity Colwyn, Colwyn Bay
Llafur orfu bobpeth Hard work conquers everything Taff-Ely
Llifa'r dwr, llewyrcha'r bobl Brecknock RDC
Llywyddiant o ddiwydiant Connah's Quay
Llywyddiant trwy undeb Success through union Cynon Valley
Llywyddo drwy ymdrech Succeeding through endeavour Neath and Port Talbot
Mon mam Cynru Anglesey, Mother of Wales Isle of Anglesey
Nid cadern ond brodyrdde No strength but in fellowship Merthyr Tydfil
Nid da lle gellir gwell Lliw Valley
Powys paradwys cymru Powys, the paradise of Wales Powys
Rhydd gwerni ffyniant gwlad A free people a prosperous country Carmarthenshire, Dyfed
Rhyddid hedd a llwyddint Freedom, peace and prosperity Carmarthen
Tarian cyfiawnder duw The shield of justice is God Clwyd
Tra mor tra meirion Merionethshire
Undeb a rhyddid Unity and freedom Blaenau Gwent
Undeb hedd llwyddiant Unity, peace, success Brecknock, Brecknockshire
Undod cadernid cynndd Unity Strength Progress Vale of Glamorgan
Unwn i wneud da Denbighshire
Y ddinas a’r fro The city and the vale South Glamorgan
Ymlaen â Delyn Forward with Delyn Delyn
Yr hafan dêg ar fin y dôn The fair haven at the edge of the waves Rhyl


Mottoes in other languages

Mottoes in any other language.

Motto Translation in English Language Used by
Eetsun nunnumur The land where it is good to be Saanich North Saanich

Mottoes in two or more languages

Mottoes in multiple languages.

Motto Translation in English Languages Used by
Kayas - présent - future Past - present - future Cree, French and English North Battleford
Eendracht maakt macht - L’union fait la force Dutch and French Belgium
Paix – travail – patrie : Peace – work - fatherland Peace – work - fatherland French and English Cameroon

Mottoes in Non-existing languages

Mottoes with a non-existing or phantasy language.

Motto Translation in English Origin/Language Used by
Es-whoy-malth A shoaling place transcribed from a local native American language Esquimalt
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