Isabel Spaugh, 11th Grade, Shadow Ridge High School, North Las Vegas

“All for Our Country”

There is much confusion about Nevada’s state motto. Most people think it is “Battle Born,” when it is actually “All for our Country.” The time when Nevada was made a state plays a key part in the confusion and decision of why the state motto is what it is.

The motto “All for Our Country,” was written in 1866. On February 25, 1866, the Nevada Legislature changed the motto from the territorial motto “Volens et Potens,” which in Latin means “Willing and Able” to “All for Our Country.” “Battle Born” was just a slogan made up for the state because it became a state during the Civil War. There is no historical record on why the state motto is “All for Our Country.” Some historians think that the motto pertains to the time the state was created. It was during the Civil War and President Lincoln was running for his second term as president, He was worried that he would not be voted in for a second term because he did not have enough electoral votes and he needed a way to get more. The territory of Nevada was rich in minerals such as silver and gold. Even though not many people lived there, it was an ideal territory to make a new state. So eight days before the next election, the territory of Nevada became the 36th state in the United States eight days before the election. “All for Our Country” was not the only choice of motto. One of the other choices was “The Union Must and Shall Be Preserved.” This relates to the time period Nevada was created as a state. President Lincoln made this a state for the North, which wanted the United States of America to continue to be united.

In being part of the United States of America, Nevada’s citizens have duties that they need to fulfill. The state of Nevada was created to support the North in the Civil War. “All for Our Country” stands for unity in the nation. The motto means that the citizens of Nevada will support the United States of America in any way that it can. This means Nevadans need to fulfill their duties as citizens of the United States of America. Citizens of Nevada need to make sure that they participate in national events such as voting. It is a citizen’s main responsibility to exercise their right to vote to support their state and federal government. Citizens need to follow the laws of their state and country in order to maintain the public peace. Citizens have the right to an education and should exercise their right by taking advantage of it. They should strive to graduate high school and even attend college. Schools should try to give the best education to their students that they possibly can. In communities citizens should be neighborly and willing to help others in need. Citizens need to maintain their cities properly. They should have sewage systems fixed, regular trimming, and regular cleaning. Citizens will exercise all their rights and will not take them away from other citizens.

With all these duties, citizens need to have two things as their first priorities; patriotism and pride towards their country. Without patriotism citizens will not be able to support their country and fulfill their duties with a full heart. Patriotism is “devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty,” Every citizen should devote their loyalties to their country. Nevadans pledged this in their state motto “All for Our Country.” This is a promise to remain loyal to the United States of America and never falter. It is a promise to support the United States of America in any way it can.

The motto “All for Our Country” was created in a time of tension and division between the North and South. If Nevada hadn’t become a state, President Lincoln might not have been re-elected. If President Lincoln was not re-elected as president, the course of the Civil War might have been very different. The states could still be divided today, or the South could have won and they would be their own country. The territory of Nevada becoming a state helped bring the unification of the United States of America. Like the state motto “All for Our Country,” the contribution of Nevada was for its country. “All for Our Country” is a daily reminder for citizens to stay supportive and stay loyal to the United States of America.