Idaho flag

Idaho State Motto

"Esto Perpetua"

This Idaho state motto is Latin for "It is Perpetual". The Idaho motto was adopted in 1891 as an element of the state seal.

The Idaho motto has its roots in a sentence made by Pietro Sarpi (1522-1623) a Venetian theologian and mathematician. His last words before he died were: "Esto perpetua", meaning: "Mayest thou (Venice) endure forever".

The editor of the 1920, "History of Idaho: The Gem of the Mountains", James H. Hawley says:

  • "Miss Emma Edwards of Boise, now Mrs. Emma Edwards-Greene, who designed the State seal, says that the words Esto Perpetual 'breathe the prayer that the bounty and blessing of this land may forever benefit its people.'"

Emma Edwards-Greene translated the Idaho state motto as "It is perpetuated" or "It is forever".

Idaho State Nicknames

Whereas there is only one Idaho motto, there exist a number of state nicknames for Idaho:

"The Gem State" or "Gem of the Mountains"
This one of the Idaho state nicknames refers to the finding of rich veins of various metals found in the Idaho mountains such as: gold, silver, copper, cobalt, lead, zinc along with rare mineral gems such as star garnets, opal, jasper, jade, zircon, topaz and tourmaline.

George M. Willing provided Idaho with this Idaho nickname when saying that Idaho was an Indian word for "Gem of the Mountains".

Idaho nickname: The Gem State - picture of gems

"Little Ida"
This Idaho state nickname probably arose because of Idaho's small size when compared to most other western American states.

Idaho State Slogans

Whereas the Idaho state motto intends to describe important values of Idaho, Idaho state slogans focus especially on attracting tourists, mainly with the special Idaho attraction of, yes, tasty potatoes!:

"Great Potatoes. Tasty Destinations"

"Famous Potatoes"

"Idaho: Adventures in Living"
This is the Idaho state slogan from the Official Idaho Vacation and Travel Planning Guide:

"Idaho: More Than Just Potatoes ... Well Okay, We're Not, But The Potatoes Are Real Good"

"Idaho: Potatoes and ... Well ... That's About It"

"Idaho? No You Da Ho"

"Idaho: Hi there! Want a Potato? Wait. Stop. Where are You Going?"

"Idaho: You Want a Potato? Yeah, I Think We Can Help You Out With That"

Some of these Idaho funny state slogans can be bought on t-shirts and stickers among other things.

USA map with Idaho highlighted