If someone asked you what the motto of Michigan was, what would you say?

This question came up recently on the Michigan History, Past, Present And Future Facebook page and it stirred up quite the discussion.

Here are some of the suggested answers:

  • Water Winter Wonderland
  • Pure Michigan
  • If You Seek a Pleasant Peninsula, Look About You
  • Tuebor
  • The Great Lakes State
  • Say Yes to Michigan/Say Yah to Da UP, Eh

So which is it?

Drum roll, please: If You Seek a Pleasant Peninsula, Look About You is the official motto of the state and has been since 1835. In Latin, it's Si Quæris Peninsulam Amœnam Circumspice.

So what about the other suggestions? Pure Michigan and Water Winter Wonderland as well as Say Yes to Michigan were all tourism slogans.

Tuebor, like the state motto, is another bit of Latin that appears on the state seal and  coat of arms. It means I will defend. But it's not the motto.

Finally the Great Lakes State is a nickname and has not official status.

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