So What’s the Deal With the Latin?


The motto on our home page is taken from the description of the state seal of Georgia found in the Georgia Constitution of 1777, which stated: 


The great seal of this State shall have the following device: on one side of a scroll, whereon shall be engraved "The Constitution of the State of Georgia;" and the motto “Pro bono publico.” On the other side, an elegant house, and other buildings, fields of corn, and meadows covered with sheep and cattle; a river running through the same, with a ship under full sail, and the motto, “Deus nobis haec otia fecit.”


This motto is taken from the writings of the Roman poet Virgil (70-19 BC), specifically his work Eclogue I,, written in 37 BC, and which translates to something like “God has provided us this rest.”  This is also the motto found on the City of Liverpool coat of arms, which was granted to the city in 1797.   Its use on the coat of arms was suggested by James, the 10th Earl of  Derby, who obviously knew a good thing when he saw it.


The other Latin portion on the other side of the seal, “pro bono publico,” translates to “for the benefit of the people,” and is often shortened to “pro bono” by professionals doing work without charge for public clients or those without the ability to pay.