Massachusetts flag

Massachusetts State Motto

"Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem"

This rather long Massachusetts state motto is Latin and translated into English, it reads: "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty".  

This Massachusetts motto was written around the year of 1659 by Algernon Sidney, an English politician and soldier. This interesting mix of 'politician/soldier' may be seen reflected in the Massachusetts motto's message of 'we will fight (the voice of the soldier) for the only type of peace worth it - namely the peace of liberty (the voice of the politician)'.

Algernon Sidney's work "Discourses Concerning Government" 1698 seemingly influenced political thinking at the time and was a source of inspiration to some American colonies. And the Massachusetts state motto is proof that even though the phrase is old the message is still considered important.

The Massachusetts state motto was adopted in 1885.

Massachusetts State Nicknames

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

"The Bay State" or "The Old Bay State"
This Massachusetts state nickname is a reference to the early settlements of the Cape Cod Bay - the location where the English pilgrims debarked from their historic 65 days trip overseas.

Massachusetts nickname: The Bay State - picture of old ship

"The Old Colony State"
This is a reference to the years 1620-1628 when the English endeavour of early settlements of the Plymouth Colony happened. It was located at New Plymouth which is today's Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts nickname: The Old Colony State - picture of early settlements

"The Pilgrim State"
With the "Mayflower Compact" well outlined before going of their ship, the pilgrims set up their own government in Massachusetts and established the Plymouth Colony in November 1620.

"The Puritan State"
The pilgrims that arrived in Massachusetts wanted to find a place where they were allowed to follow their interpretation of the bible and practice their religion without interference and persecution.

"The Baked Bean State"
On Saturdays the Puritans could prepare their brown bread and baked beans which would be eaten on the Sunday. Boston has earned quite a reputation for its good baked beans that are cooked for hours on end. Some sources believe that the Puritans learned their famous bean cooking from Native American Indians.

Massachusetts State Slogans

Whereas the Massachusetts state motto intends to describe idealistic, patriotic values special for Massachusetts: "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty" - Massachusetts state slogans focus especially on attracting tourists, and as you will see, some endeavors are serious in spirit and other are, well, less serious:

"Massachusetts... Make It Yours"
This is a Massachusetts state slogan from 2002 which apparently was somewhat of a disappointment for leaders in the tourist field as it seemed somewhat unoriginal and uncreative.

"The Spirit of Massachusetts is the Spirit of America"
This is an older Massachusetts state slogan that was relatively popular with the tourism agencies but the state found it too long.

"Make It in Massachusetts"
This is another old Massachusetts state slogan.

"Massachusetts: Its all Here"
This is the Massachusetts slogan from the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism:

"Massachusetts: Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden's (For Most Tax Brackets)"

"Massachusetts: Home of the Young Girls from Nantucket. Also the Home of Ted Kennedy ... Hmmmm ..."

"Massachusetts: It's Wicked!"

"Massachusetts: Now with 30% Fewer Kennedys!"
~ Brian DiMattia ~

"Massachusetts: Washingston's Outhouse"

"Massachusetts: Who Fahted?"

Some of these Massachusetts funny state slogans can be bought on souvenir t-shirts etc.

USA map with Massachusetts highlighted