The Jamaican national motto is ‘Out of Many, One People’, and is based on the population’s multiracial roots.
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.
The Ministry Paper was tabled in the House early in 1962.
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”.