"UNITY MAKES STRENGTH" (Dutch : Eendracht maakt macht, pronounced (
listen ); French : L'union fait la force) is a motto that has been
used by various nations and entities throughout history. Currently, it
is used by
Haiti on the national coat of arms and is the
national motto of
The motto was originally used by the
Dutch Republic . It is derived
from the Latin phrase "concordia res parvae crescunt" (small things
flourish by concord) in chapter 10 of the
Bellum Iugurthinum by the
Roman Republican writer
Sallust . Netherlands, gold ducat (1729)
with the motto concordia res parvae crescent on the obverse , found in
Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company (VOC) shipwreck \
't Vliegend Hert
The similar moral of the Aesopic fable "
The Old Man and his Sons "
has been rendered in various related ways: "All power is weak unless
united" (1668), "Unity makes strength, strife wastes" (1685),
"Strength lies in union" (1867), "Strength is in unity" (1887),
"Unity is strength" (title), "Union gives strength" (moral) (1894),
"Union is strength" (1912), "In unity is strength" (1919); although
older versions are more specific: "Brotherly love is the greatest good
in life and often lifts the humble higher" (2nd century), "Just as
concord supplies potency in human affairs, so a quarrelsome life
deprives people of their strength" (16th century).
* 1 Uses
* 1.3 Canada
* 1.4 Georgia
* 1.5 Greece
South African Republic
* 1.10 United States
* 2 Other uses
* 3 See also
* 4 References
The motto was used by
Belgium after its Revolution of 1830 ,
initially only in its French form "L'union fait la force". Only when
Dutch was made equal in status to French did the Belgian state also
take "Eendracht maakt macht" as its motto, sometimes with the variant
"Eenheid baart macht". In 1830, this unity was identified with the
unification of Belgium's nine provinces, whose nine provincial coats
of arms are represented on the national arms, and the new country's
unification of its liberal progressives and Catholic conservatives.
Indeed, it was launched in 1827-1828 by newspapers published in Liège
which allied liberals and Catholics in the unionism which brought
about the Revolution and which then dominated Belgian politics until
the founding of the Liberal Party in 1846. Although the motto is often
used in Belgicist or unitarist circles (as a call to Flemings and
Walloons , natives of Brussels and German speakers, all to maintain
Belgium's unity), this is a historical misinterpretation — the motto
is a unionist, not a unitarist, slogan. Its German version is
"Einigkeit macht stark". Flemings sometimes parody the motto by
chanting it as "L'union fait la farce" ("Union makes a farce") or
"L'oignon fait la farce" ("The onion makes the filling"), trivialising
it as a cooking recipe.
Unity makes strength
Unity makes strength (Bulgarian : Съединението
прави силата) as the motto on the Coat of arms of
Main article: Coat of arms of
Bulgarian unification and after Ferdinand of the House
of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha took over the throne of the Principality of
Bulgaria , the country adopted Belgium's motto of L'union fait la
force (in Bulgarian : Съединението прави
силата). After the king was deposed, it was the country's motto
until 1948. After the fall of the People\'s Republic of
the end of Communist rule in the 1990s, the parties debated what
should be the country's new coat of arms, deciding on a modified
version of its former royal coat of arms. However, the Bulgarian motto
also represents the last words of khan
Kubrat , the founder of Old
Bulgaria in 632 AD, and is likely rooted much earlier in
Bulgarian symbolics than in other European states.
At the second national convention of
Acadians in 1884 "L'union fait
la force" was chosen as the national motto of Acadia and appeared in
the coat of arms of Société nationale de l'Acadie in 1995.
Dzala ertobashia (Georgian : ძალა
ერთობაშია, "Strength is in Unity") is the official
motto of Georgia .
The phrase is first recorded in Homer as "Strength in Unity" (Greek:
"Ἡ ἰσχύς ἐν τῇ ἐνώσει").
Main article: Coat of arms of
Haiti Current coat of arms of
One of the oldest uses of the term written in the
French language ,
is known since 1807, on Haiti's national coat of arms bearing the
motto, "L'union fait la force". Although, it should not be confused
with the national motto of Haiti, which according to the Constitution
Haiti is "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity."
An early design of the coat of arms for the Federation of Malaya
Peninsular Malaysia ) in used between 1948 and 1963
adopted a variation of the motto, "Unity is Strength", rendered in
both English and Jawi . Following the admission of three more states
into the federation in 1963, the English motto of the arms was
replaced by a rough Malay translation, Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu
(literally "Unity Improves Quality"), while the Jawi motto remained
Former coat of arms of the
The motto was recorded for the first time in the
Netherlands in the
book Gemeene Duytsche Spreekwoorden ("Common Dutch Proverbs") in 1550,
whilst the area was still within the
Spanish Empire and under the rule
of Charles V . After the Dutch gained independence , the new Dutch
Republic took over the phrase as its motto and it appeared on several
of its coins and coats of arms, usually in the original Latin form,
referring to the new state's initially small territorial size. From
the late 16th century onwards the start of the motto was frequently
used on Dutch coinage, such as the Leicester -rijksdaalder in 1586.
The French occupied the
Netherlands from 1795 to 1813, first as the
Batavian Republic then the
Kingdom of Holland
Kingdom of Holland then as an annexed part
of France itself. Early in the occupation the national motto was
changed to "Gelykheid, Vryheid, Broederschap" (Equality, Liberty,
Fraternity), but from 1802 to 1810 'Unity makes strength' was
re-introduced. It remained in use until the institution of the United
Kingdom of the
Netherlands when, in 1816, it switched to the House of
Orange motto '
Je maintiendrai '.
SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC
'Eendragt maakt magt' as the motto on the coat of arms of the
South African Republic .
On 17 January 1852 the
United Kingdom , ruler of the
Cape Colony ,
approved the independence of the
South African Republic in the Sand
River Convention . "Eendragt maakt magt" was the motto on the new
state's shield and in 1888 it decided it should only use high Dutch
(not Afrikaans) as its only official language. Interestingly, in the
present Republic of South Africa, the motto has become "Ex Unitate
Vires " in Latin until 2000 when it was changed to "Unity in
Diversity" written in ǀXam ("ǃke e: ǀxarra ǁke").
The motto of
Brooklyn , a borough of
New York City
New York City founded by Dutch
settlers, is "Eendraght maeckt maght". It appears on Brooklyn's seal
and flag . Additionally, it is the motto of The Collegiate School ,
the oldest primary and secondary school in the United States. The
motto Eendragt maakt magt also appears on the badge of the police
Holland, Michigan , combined with God zij met ons (God be
Eendragt maakt Magt was a noble-society (Heeren-Sociëteit) founded
Rotterdam in 1830, originally based in the Kralingse Plaslaan. It
originally held weekly meetings in the Den Otter coffee house on the
corner of the Hoflaan and the Honingerdijk. On 1 May 1865 the
Association of Shareholders began fundraising for a private building
for the society. This coincided with the fiftieth anniversary of the
Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo , which was one reason the society took the motto
of king William II of the
Netherlands . The architect Jan Verheul
designed the new building and it opened in 1903 on the corner of the
Oudedijk and Waterloostraat. In 1980 the building was demolished to
make way for the
Caland Line metro route, after saving a section of
its ornate art nouveau facade (giving the club's name between glazed
tiles and leaf patterns) was built into the nearby Voorschoterlaan
The name was also used as the business name of the tailors "Eendracht
maakt macht", who in 1910 decided to rent a building on
Oranjeboomstraat in Rotterdam, as a joint workshop-office to move
their office out of their home. The fine dust from the finished goods
caused many to suffer from emphysema and a larger workplace named
"Eendracht maakt macht" was built.
The motto was also used by
Helena Blavatsky in her editorials, in
response to the internal feuding which often affected the Theosophical
The motto of the fascist British government in the
Doctor Who serial
Inferno , mainly set in an alternate world, was "Unity is Strength,"
based on the slogan "Union is Strength" used by
Oswald Mosley 's
Union Movement . Similarly, Norsefire, the fascist
British government in the 2005 film V for Vendetta uses "Strength
through Unity" (along with "Unity through Faith") as a prominent
The Latin form concordia res parvae crescunt is used by various
Helsinki, Finland ; the former mortgage
Riga, Latvia (now the Foreign Ministry).
Skilurus , a legendary Scythian king who taught the same moral by
instructing his sons to break a bundle of arrows
Wikimedia Commons has media related to UNITY MAKES STRENGTH .
* ^ The full quotation is "nam concordia parvae res crescunt,
discordia maximae dilabuntur" - concord will make small things
flourish, discord will destroy great things. It also appears in Seneca
the Younger 's Letters to Lucilius (XCIV, 46).
* ^ "Toute puissance est faible, à moins que d'être unie", Jean
de La Fontaine , "Le Vieillard et ses enfants" 1668
Pieter de la Court , "Een Boer ende seeven twistende Soonen",
Sinryke Fabulen, Amsterdam, 1685, pp.599-608
* ^ Edward Garrett, London, 1867, pp.83-4
* ^ W.J. Linton, The Baby's Own Aesop, 1887.
* ^ Joseph Jacobs, The Fables of Aesop, 1894.
* ^ V.S. Vernon Jones, Aesop's Fables: A New Translation, 1912.
Aesop for Children, 1919
Hieronymus Osius Fable 53
* ^ The Report: Emerging
Bulgaria 2007. Oxford Business Group.
2007. p. 8. Retrieved 9 November 2011. The motto is Saedinenieto Pravi
Silata, meaning "unity makes strength", said to be the last words of
Khan Kubrat, the legendary founder of Old Great
Bulgaria in 632.
* ^ "Société nationale de l\'Acadie ". Reg.gg.ca. 2004-02-25.
* ^ "Flags of
Haiti 1697-1986". Retrieved 25 April 2014.
* ^ "National Arms Of Haiti". Ngw.nl. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
* ^ "EENDRAGT MAAKT MAGT. Uit J.H. Swildens Vaderlandsch A-B boek
voor de Nederlansche jeugd (1781)". DBNL.nl. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
* ^ "Societeit Eendragt maakt Magt". Engelfriet.net. 1941-09-04.
* ^ Chocano, Carina (17 March 2006). "V for Vendetta". Los Angeles
Times . Retrieved 8 January 2013.
* ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, "The
Latvian Foreign Ministry Building through the Arches of Time
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