On this day in 1820, Maine is the 23rd state admitted into the Union. The former province of Massachusetts gained admittance as a free state as part of the Missouri Compromise.
First, here is the Preamble of the Constitution of the State of Maine:
“We the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for our mutual defense, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the design; and, imploring God’s aid and direction in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the style and title of the State of Maine and do ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government of the same.”
Next, as seen in the state seal depicted below, the North Star is accompanied by the state motto, Dirigo. That is Latin for “I Lead,” or Direct/Guide.
According to the Maine Library Bulletin:
“[T]he Polar Star has been considered the mariner’s guide and director in conducting the ship over the pathless ocean to the desired haven, and as the center of magnetic attraction; as it has been figuratively used to denote the point, to which all affections turn, and as it is here intended to represent the State, it may be considered the citizens’ guide, and the object to which the patriot’s best exertions should be directed.”
Desired haven. Center of attraction. Point of all affections. Citizens’ guide. Object of the patriot’s best exertions. Now that sounds like the “Sovereign Ruler of the Universe” from Whom “the people of Maine” sought “aid and direction.”
In our day, may “We the People” continue to do the same.