Right Steps & Poui Trees

.#AToZChallengeJamaica – O is for Out of Many, One People


The Jamaican national motto is ‘Out of Many, One People’, and is based on the population’s multiracial roots.

Jamaica - Coat of Arms

The motto is inscribed in the scroll of the Jamaica Coat of Arms, and was adopted at the time of Independence in 1962. Prior to that, the motto in the Coat of Arms was in Latin –  Indus Uterque Serviet Uni. (The Indians twain shall serve one Lord). It was felt that this motto had no relevance to modern independent Jamaica, and I would have to agree.

Ministry Paper No. 20, dealing with proposed National Emblems, indicates that the decision to change the motto had been made, but a replacement hadn’t yet been selected.

Ministry Paper No 20  - motto

The Ministry Paper was tabled in the House early in 1962.

Ministry Paper No 20 - end


Is our motto an existing reality, a guiding principle, an ideal to be aimed for?

To end, a verse from one of Louise Bennett’s poems – “Independence Dignity”, written at the time:

Teet’ an tongue was all united,

Heart an soul was hans an glove,

Fenky-fenky voice gain vigour pon

“Jamaica, land we love”.



Author: rightpouitree

Navigating the real and virtual worlds and sometimes writing about what I observe...

2 thoughts on “.#AToZChallengeJamaica – O is for Out of Many, One People

  1. Reblogged this on Jamaica: Political Economy and commented:
    ‘Is our motto an existing reality, a guiding principle, an ideal to be aimed for?’ A great question, asked by Susan. For me, definitely ‘guiding principle’ and ‘ideal’, but having doubts about ‘existing reality’ in the sense that we are happy to be out of many, one. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Petchary's Blog and commented:
    Out of Many One People is Susan Goffe’s choice for the letter “O.” I wonder why they decided not to continue with Latin. But “E Pluribus Unum” means exactly the same thing in Latin, and is the motto of the United States of America. And of course, the “Indians twain” are still in the Coat of Arms!