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North Carolina State Motto:

Esse quam videri
(To be, rather than to seem)
 

North Carolina's bicentennial quarter - click to see all state quarters
North Carolina became the 12th state in 1789 (see STATEHOOD ORDER).
North Carolina's bicentennial quarter honors the Wright Brothers
"First Flight" at Kittyhawk, NC. Public domain image on Wikipedia.
See All 50 state quarters - All State Mottos - National Motto.

Esse quam videri (To be, rather than to seem)

In 1893 the North Carolina General Assembly adopted the Latin words "Esse Quam Videri" as the state motto and directed that these words be placed with the state's Coat of Arms and the date "20 May, 1775" upon the great seal. Until the act of 1893 North Carolina had no motto, one of the few states without one (and the only one of the original thirteen).

The motto is a literal translation of a phrase from a sentence in Cicero's "On Friendship" (De Amicitia, chapter 26). The complete sentence in Latin is: "Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt ."

Translations (from North Carolina State Library):

"Fewer possess virtue, than those who wish us to believe that they possess it."

"The fact is that fewer people are endowed with virtue than wish to be thought to be so."

"Not nearly so many people want actually to be possessed of virtue as want to appear to be possessed of it."

"The Numbers of the really virtuous are not so great, as they appear to be."

Source:
State Motto: North Carolina State Library
Links:
All State Mottos - National Motto

    

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North Carolina Symbols & Icons

mammal - dog
bird - reptile
flower - plant
insect - shell
horse - fish 1 - 2
tree 1 - 2
wildflower - soil
rock - stone
fruit - vegetable
berries: red blue

flag - seal
quarter - motto
colors- language
name - nickname
pottery - boat
song - theater
dance 1 - 2
tartan - beverage
academy
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North Carolina Gifts - Gifts by State