SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS is a
Latin phrase meaning "thus always to tyrants
* 1 History
* 2 Usage in the US
* 2.1 Motto of Virginia
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 External links
The phrase is sometimes said to have originated with Roman Marcus
Junius Brutus during the assassination of Julius Caesar on 15 March 44
BC, but according to
Plutarch , Brutus either did not have a chance
to say anything, or if he did, no one heard what was said:
Caesar thus done to death, the senators, although Brutus came forward
as if to say something about what had been done, would not wait to
hear him, but burst out of doors and fled, thus filling the people
with confusion and helpless fear.
The phrase has been invoked historically in
Europe and other parts of
the world as an epithet or rallying cry against abuse of power.
USAGE IN THE US
The Insignia of the
149th Fighter Squadron
149th Fighter Squadron
In American history,
John Tyler 's father uttered the phrase to a
school-teacher who had been tied up by Tyler and his fellow pupils.
During the Civil War , at least one regiment of the United States
Colored Troops used it as their motto.
John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth wrote in his diary that he shouted "Sic semper
tyrannis" after shooting U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 14,
1865, in part because of the association with the assassination of
Caesar. The phrase was also in the pro-Confederate Civil War song
Maryland, My Maryland
Maryland, My Maryland , which was popular at the time with Southern
sympathizers in Maryland, such as Booth. The song, containing the
phrase, is now the official state song of
Timothy McVeigh was wearing a
T-shirt with this phrase and a picture
of Lincoln on it when he was arrested on April 19, 1995, the day of
Oklahoma City bombing
Oklahoma City bombing .
The phrase is also the motto of the U.S. city Allentown , the third
largest city in
MOTTO OF VIRGINIA
The phrase was recommended by
George Mason to the Virginia Convention
in 1776, as part of the commonwealth's seal. The Seal of the
Commonwealth of Virginia shows
Virtue , spear in hand, with her foot
on the prostrate form of
Tyranny , whose crown lies nearby. The Seal
was planned by Mason and designed by
George Wythe , who signed the
United States Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence and taught law to Thomas
Jefferson . A joke referencing the image on the seal that dates as
far back as the Civil War, is that "Sic semper tyrannis" actually
means "Get your foot off my neck."
"Happy While United" was the slogan on a medal coined by the State of
Virginia in 1780. First envisioned by
Thomas Jefferson , the medal was
minted and designed to be given to Indian signatories to the treaties
Jefferson planned with the First Peoples of Virginia. The medal
portrays a Virginia colonial sitting enjoying a peace pipe with a
Native American. The obverse portrays a variation of the Virginia
state seal of the state symbol standing triumphant over a slain enemy
with the legend: "Rebellion to Tyrants Is Obedience to God".
The phrase is the motto of the
United States Navy
United States Navy attack submarine
named for the state, the USS Virginia . Before that, it was the motto
of the nuclear-powered cruiser USS Virginia .
The phrase appears on the Insignia of the 149th Fighter Squadron
which is located at
Joint Base Langley–Eustis
Joint Base Langley–Eustis , Virginia.
The English version of the phrase is alluded to in The Big Lebowski
by the character Wu, who snarks, "Ever thus to deadbeats" as he
urinates upon the Dude's rug.
House of Lies Season 3, Episode 2, "Power(less)," junior
consultant Christy stabs her tyrannical boss, Monica, while uttering
the full latin phrase.
In Seinfeld, Season 4, Episode 24, "The Pilot (Part 2)," "Crazy" Joe
Davola cries out the phrase and then jumps off the stands into the set
in an attempt to attack Jerry.
Great Seal of Virginia with the commonwealth's motto.
* ^ Mitgang, Herbert (12 April 1992). "Booth Speech Reveals a
The New York Times
The New York Times . Retrieved 23 November 2015.
* ^ Mulvihill, Amy (13 April 2015). "The Fault in His Stars".
Baltimore Magazine. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
* ^ Plutarch, "Caesar", Plutarch\'s Lives, with an English
Translation by Bernadotte Perrin. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University
Press. London. William Heinemann Ltd. 1919. ch. 67. On Line text.
* ^ "From Classroom to White House". google.co.uk.
* ^ "USCT Regimental Flag – 22nd United States Colored Infantry".
Jubilo! The Emancipation Century.
* ^ "Diary Entry of John Wilkes Booth". umkc.edu.
* ^ "TimesMachine April 15, 1865 - New York Times". The New York
* ^ "Ford\'s Theater Historic Site Visit". fords.org.
* ^ Kilzer, Lou; Flynn, Kevin (1997-12-19). "Did McVeigh Plan to
get Caught, or was he Sloppy?".
Denver Rocky Mountain News .
* ^ Rowland, Kate Mason (1892). The Life of George Mason,
1725-1792. G.P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 264–265.
* ^ von Borcke, Heros (April 1866). "Memoirs of the Confederate War
for Independence". Blackwood\'s Edinburgh Magazine . American edition,
vol. 62. New York: Leonard Scott & Co. 99 (606): 462. Retrieved 21
August 2010. ...the coat of arms of the state of Virginia, bearing the
motto, Sic semper tyrannis, which the soldiers translated, "Take your
foot off my neck", from the action of the principal figure ...
representing Liberty, who, with a lance in her right hand, is standing
over the conquered and prostrate tyrant, and apparently trampling on
him with her heel.