We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the State Motto of Maine?

Esther Ejim
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
America Explained is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At America Explained, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The state motto of Maine is simply “Dirigo,” meaning “I Guide” or “I Direct.” Maine is one of only 15 states within the United States to officially adopt a motto. Other states have unofficial mottos, meaning that their mottos were not officially ratified by the state's legislature. Maine's state motto was officially adopted during the inaugural session of the State of Maine held between May 21 to June 28 in 1820. One of the interesting features of the state motto of Maine is the fact that it is not only adopted as an element of the state seal, it is also fully integrated by a depiction with a symbolic meaning.

The state seal was also adopted in 1820 and has an image of two men on either side of a peaceful scene depicted on a shield. The scene is that of a moose lying in a field with a pine tree directly behind it, along with images of water and woods. The man on the left is a farmer holding a scythe, while the one on the right is a sailor resting on an anchor.

On top of the shield is a banner bearing an inscription of the state motto of Maine — “Dirigo.” On top of the motto, there is an image of a polar star. The polar star has always been a guide for mariners while conducting their ships in the oceans. In the same way, the star symbolically represents the state of Maine, which serves as a guide for its citizens. This is the reason why the state motto of Maine is “I guide.”

Maine is also one of the states in the United States to incorporate its seal into its flag. The flag of the state of Maine is a simple blue background with the state seal in the center. This flag is different from the original flag that was used between 1901 and 1909. The old flag had the image of a lone pine tree with a star above it. The new flag was approved for official use by the Maine Legislature on February 23, 1909.

Apart from the state motto of Maine, other official state symbols include the black-capped chickadee, which is the official state bird, the Maine coon cat, which is the official state cat, and the wild blueberry, which is the official state berry. The official state herb of Maine is the wintergreen, and the state fish is the landlocked salmon. The state tree is the eastern white pine, while the state insect is the honeybee.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Esther Ejim
By Esther Ejim
Esther Ejim, a visionary leader and humanitarian, uses her writing to promote positive change. As the founder and executive director of a charitable organization, she actively encourages the well-being of vulnerable populations through her compelling storytelling. Esther's writing draws from her diverse leadership roles, business experiences, and educational background, helping her to create impactful content.
Discussion Comments
By jcraig — On Mar 06, 2012

I have a question in regards to why there are so few state mottoes. I know that Maine is only one of fifteen states in the Union to have an official state motto, but why is this the case?

I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that Maine picked their official state motto early on in their history in 1820.

I wonder if states that have an official state motto all picked theirs early on in American history, as it may have been a trend at the time, or if it could be possible that since Maine picked theirs when they became a state they merely got it out of the way, while other states have simply not got around to picking their state motto over the years?

By cardsfan27 — On Mar 05, 2012

@Izzy78 -I totally agree. The purpose of a state flag, seal, or motto is to simply make the state unique, recognizable, and give some idea of the state's history and culture.

Maine is unique in this regard because they have a motto. Less than one third of the states in the Union have a motto, so to simply have one to begin with makes them unique.

Also, since the motto is incorporated on both the flag and seal, which are the same symbol, the motto is well known and allows the people of the state a singular symbol and battle cry to stand behind and cal themselves proud members of the state.

This should be the goal of any state sponsored enterprise like this and I feel like Maine does it very well when compared to other states.

By Izzy78 — On Mar 04, 2012

@TreeMan - I respect your opinion and there are definitely plenty of state that are not creative in their flags and seals, but I happen to like Maine's.

I understand that using the same design on their flag and seal may seem a bit lazy, but it is an easily recognized symbol in the state and this adds uniqueness in itself.

Also, the state motto being incorporated on both allows for even more uniqueness to shine, as Maine is only one of 15 state's to even have a state motto, and even less have the same symbol on both their seal and flag.

To me this makes Maine unique from other states and allows for them to be creative without having to do anything fancy.

By TreeMan — On Mar 03, 2012

I have to be totally honest when I say that I feel like many of the state sponsored things for the state of Maine are very unimaginative and un-creative.

One would think that a state would be able to pick something for their flag, seal, and motto, that are all different in order to show a bit of creativity and uniqueness, but that apparently is not the case.

I know that there are several states like Maine that are un-creative in ventures, such as this, but to me Maine is worse because the motto is used on the flag and seal and the flag itself is the same image as the seal.

I do not understand why they did not simply commission another person or even the same person to create another design and at least add a bit of unique qualities to the state.

Esther Ejim
Esther Ejim
Esther Ejim, a visionary leader and humanitarian, uses her writing to promote positive change. As the founder and...
Learn more
America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.