Published: May 7, 2021
By: Matthew Bennett | LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE — Amid lifted mask mandates, businesses re-openings and a barrage of economic recovery proposals in the Legislature, Louisianans may soon find some new changes to the history of the state itself.
The House Judiciary Committee passed bills Thursday to establish a new state motto and to name “Southern Nights,” a song written by the late New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint, as the fifth state song.
Rep. Richard Nelson, R-Mandeville, brought up HB17, which proposes to change the state motto from “Union, Justice, Confidence,” to “We live and die for those we love.”
Nelson said there was never a statute passed to establish the old motto, and that it was time to make official something that hit closer to home for Louisiana residents.
“I think this motto is much more indicative of who we are as a people, what we believe and stand for as a people, and what sets us apart from everywhere else,” Nelson said.
It was made clear that this was not a random phrase penned by Nelson either, as committee members pointed out that two iterations of the new motto appear on Louisiana law licenses and the walls of the Louisiana State Capitol.
The representative also said he felt the old motto of “Union, Justice, Confidence” was a “rip-off” of Georgia’s state motto, “Wisdom, Justice, & Moderation,” which was established in 1776 when Georgia became the 13th U.S. colony.
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