The Info List - E Pluribus Unum

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_E PLURIBUS UNUM_ (/ˈiː ˈpluːrᵻbəs ˈuːnəm/ ; Latin: )— Latin
for "OUT OF MANY, ONE" (alternatively translated as "One out of many" or "One from many") — is a 13-letter traditional motto of the United States of America
United States of America
and of the city of Monguagá in Brazil, appearing on the Great Seal along with _ Annuit cœptis
Annuit cœptis
_ ( Latin
for "She/He/It approves the undertaking ") and _Novus ordo seclorum _ ( Latin
for "New order of the ages"), and adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782. Never codified by law, _E Pluribus Unum_ was considered a _de facto_ motto of the United States until 1956 when the United States Congress
United States Congress
passed an act (H. J. Resolution 396), adopting " In God We Trust
In God We Trust
" as the official motto .


* 1 Meaning * 2 Origins * 3 Usage on coins * 4 Other usages * 5 See also * 6 Notes and references * 7 External links


Original 1776 design for the Great Seal by Simitiere . The shields with 13 initials of the colonies linked together with motto.

The meaning of the phrase originates from the concept that out of the Thirteen colonies
Thirteen colonies
emerged a single nation.


The 13-letter motto was suggested in 1776 by Pierre Eugene du Simitiere to the committee responsible for developing the seal. At the time of the American Revolution
American Revolution
, the exact phrase appeared prominently on the title page of every issue of a popular periodical, _The Gentleman\'s Magazine _, which collected articles from _many_ sources into _one_ "magazine". This in turn can be traced back to the London
-based Huguenot
Peter Anthony Motteux, who used the adage for his _The Gentleman's Journal, or the Monthly Miscellany_ (1692-1694). The phrase is similar to a Latin
translation of a variation of Heraclitus
's 10th fragment, "The one is made up of all things, and all things issue from the one." A variant of the phrase was used in Moretum, a poem attributed to Virgil
but with the actual author unknown, describing (on the surface at least) the making of _moretum _, a kind of herb and cheese spread related to modern pesto . In the poem text, _color est e pluribus unus_ describes the blending of colors into one. St Augustine
St Augustine
used the non-truncated variant of the phrase, _ex pluribus unum_, in his _Confessions_ (_e_ is the form of the Latin
preposition _ex_ that regularly appears before words beginning with a consonant). But it seems more likely that the phrase refers to Cicero
's paraphrase of Pythagoras in his _ De Officiis
De Officiis
_, as part of his discussion of basic family and social bonds as the origin of societies and states: "When each person loves the other as much as himself, it makes one out of many (_unus fiat ex pluribus_), as Pythagoras wishes things to be in friendship."

While _ Annuit cœptis
Annuit cœptis
_ ("He favors our undertakings") and _Novus ordo seclorum _ ("New order of the ages") appear on the reverse side of the great seal, _E pluribus unum_ appears on the obverse side of the seal (Designed by Charles Thomson
Charles Thomson
), the image of which is used as the national emblem of the United States, and appears on official documents such as passports. It also appears on the seal of the President and in the seals of the Vice President of the United States , of the United States Congress
United States Congress
, of the United States House of Representatives , of the United States Senate and on the seal of the United States Supreme Court
United States Supreme Court


_ Half Dollar (reverse), 1807



OBVERSE: Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
, year and US national motto ( In God We Trust
In God We Trust
) REVERSE: E pluribus unum_, olive branch, torch and oak branch, face-value and country.

Total 86,408,282,060 coins minted from 1965 to 2015.

The first coins with _E pluribus unum_ were dated 1786 and struck under the authorization of the State of New Jersey by Thomas Goadsby and Albion Cox in Rahway, New Jersey. The motto had no New Jersey linkage but was likely an available die that had been created by Walter Mould the previous year for a failed federal coinage proposal. Walter Mould was also authorized by New Jersey to strike state coppers with this motto and did so beginning in early 1787 in Morristown, New Jersey . Lt. Col. Seth Readof Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Uxbridge, Massachusetts
was said to have been instrumental in having E Pluribus Unum placed on US coins Seth Readand his brother Joseph Readhad been authorized by the Massachusetts General Court
Massachusetts General Court
to mint coppers in 1786. In March 1786, Seth Readpetitioned the Massachusetts General Court
Massachusetts General Court
, both the House and the Senate, for a franchise to mint coins, both copper and silver, and "it was concurred". _E pluribus unum_, written in capital letters, is included on most U.S. currency, with some exceptions to the letter spacing (such as the reverse of the dime ). It is also embossed on the edge of the dollar coin . (_See United States coinage and paper bills in circulation_).

According to the U.S. Treasury , the motto _E pluribus unum_ was first used on U.S. coinage in 1795, when the reverse of the half-eagle ($5 gold) coin presented the main features of the Great Seal of the United States . _E pluribus unum_ is inscribed on the Great Seal's scroll. The motto was added to certain silver coins in 1798, and soon appeared on all of the coins made out of precious metals (gold and silver). In 1834, it was dropped from most of the gold coins to mark the change in the standard fineness of the coins. In 1837, it was dropped from the silver coins, marking the era of the Revised Mint Code. An Act of February 12, 1873 made the inscription a requirement of law upon the coins of the United States. _E pluribus unum_ appears on all coins currently being manufactured, including the Presidential dollars that started being produced in 2007, where it is inscribed on the edge along with " In God We Trust
In God We Trust
" and the year and mint mark. After the Revolution, Rahway, New Jersey
Rahway, New Jersey
became the home of the first national mint to create a coin bearing the inscription _E pluribus unum_.

In a quality control error in early 2007 the Philadelphia Mintissued some one-dollar coins without _E pluribus unum_ on the rim; these coins have already become collectibles.

The 2009 and new 2010 penny features a new design on the back, which displays the phrase _E Pluribus unum_ in larger letters than in previous years.


* The motto _E pluribus unum_ is used by Portuguese multi-sport club S.L. Benfica. * This motto has also been used by the Scoutspataljon , a professional infantry battalion of the Estonian Defence Forces, since 1918. * A variant of the motto, _unum e pluribus_ is used by the Borough of Wokingham in Berkshire
, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
. * _E Pluribus Unum_ is a march by the composer Fred Jewell, written in 1917 during World War I
World War I
. * In 2001, following the September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
, the Ad Counciland Texas
ad agency GSD near the end of the PSA, a black screen shows and the phrase "_E pluribus unum_" is seen with the English translation underneath. * "One Out of Many", a story about an Indian servant who travels to Washington with his employer, is included in V. S. Naipaul
V. S. Naipaul
's novel _ In a Free State_.


_E pluribus unum_ in the main entrance to Estádio da Luz *

_E pluribus unum_ in the logo of Estonian Scouts Single Infantry Battalion


* Bhinneka Tunggal Ika
Bhinneka Tunggal Ika
* Unity in diversity * United States national motto


* ^ _A_ _B_ "e pluribus unum". treasury.gov. Retrieved 2012-03-29. * ^ _A_ _B_ "E Pluribus Unum - Origin and Meaning of the Motto Carried by the American Eagle". Greatseal.com. 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2012-04-28. * ^ "E Pluribus Unum". _Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabrid