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Seal of Maine

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.”

I Direct

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.

 

Seal of Maine

 

Great Seal of the State of Missouri

On this day in 1821, Missouri becomes the 24th state in the Union, making it the first state located entirely west of the Mississippi River. Previously, Missouri became a U.S. possession as with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

This is the Preamble of the Missouri Constitution:

“We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the
Universe, and grateful for His goodness, do establish this Constitution for the better
government of the state.”

Contained within the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, pictured below, is the motto “United We Stand Divided We Fall.”

From the Founders

First, Founding Father John Dickinson used the phrase in “The Liberty Song”, first published in the Boston Gazette in July 1768:

“Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all,
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall;
In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed,
For heaven approves of each generous deed.”

Finally, Founding Father Patrick Henry, who famously said “Give me liberty, or give me death!,” also used the phrase his final speech on March 4, 1799:

Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”

Our Lost Founding suggests that their words are especially relevant in Our time as well.

Great Seal of the State of Missouri

 

Seal of North Carolina

On this day in 1789, North Carolina ratifies the United States Constitution, thereby becoming the twelfth state in the Union.

First, the date of May 20, 1775 on the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina refers to the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. This debated document was allegedly the first ‘declaration of independence’ adopted during the American Revolution.

So, this is the third resolution from that document:
“Resolved, That we do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people, are, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and self–governing Association, under the control of no power other than that of our God and the General Government of the Congress; to the maintenance of which independence, we solemnly pledge to each other, our mutual co-operation, our lives, our fortunes, and our most sacred honor.”

Next, the representation of the figure of Liberty, standing, holds a scroll with the word “Constitution” in her right hand.

Appropriately, then, here is the Preamble of the North Carolina State Constitution:

Preamble

We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for the preservation of the American Union and the existence of our civil, political and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those blessings to us and our posterity, do, for the more certain security thereof and for the better government of this State, ordain and establish this Constitution.

 

Seal of North Carolina