Out of Many One People is Susan Goffe’s choice for the letter “O.” I wonder why they decided not to continue with Latin. But “E Pluribus Unum” means exactly the same thing in Latin, and is the motto of the United States of America. And of course, the “Indians twain” are still in the Coat of Arms!
The Jamaican national motto is ‘Out of Many, One People’, and is based on the population’s multiracial roots.
The motto is inscribed in the scroll of the Jamaica Coat of Arms, and was adopted at the time of Independence in 1962. Prior to that, the motto in the Coat of Arms was in Latin – Indus Uterque Serviet Uni. (The Indians twain shall serve one Lord). It was felt that this motto had no relevance to modern independent Jamaica, and I would have to agree.
Ministry Paper No. 20, dealing with proposed National Emblems, indicates that the decision to change the motto had been made, but a replacement hadn’t yet been selected.
The Ministry Paper was tabled in the House early in 1962.
Is our motto an existing reality, a guiding principle, an ideal to be aimed for?
To end, a verse from one of Louise Bennett’s poems –…
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