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We Dare Defend our Rights

Alabama State Motto

Alabama symbol on civil rights marker Montgomery AL. Photo by Christa Lohman / Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution/no derivative works).

Official State Motto of Alabama

The idea for Alabama's state motto ("We Dare Defend our Rights") came to Marie Bankhead Owen of the Alabama Department of Archives and History while she searched for a phrase to put on the state's coat of arms (completed in 1923). Professor W. B. Saffold of the University of Alabama translated the motto into Latin: "Audemus jura nostra defendere." All State Mottos

The inspiration for Alabama's state motto came from a poem by 18th-century author Sir William Jones which includes the stanza:

"What constitutes a state? . . .
Men who their duties know,
but know their rights,
and knowing, dare maintain."