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A motto is a phrase or collection of words intended to describe the motivation or intention of a sociological grouping or organization. Many countries, universities, and other institutions have mottos, as do families with coats of arms.

These mottos are traditionally in Latin or Romance languages, as well as in English or German. There are many exceptions, particularly in modern heraldry: for examples, the mottos of the State of Hawai‘i; and the University of Hawai‘i; are in Hawaiian, and the motto of Nunavut is in Inuktitut.

In heraldry, a motto is often depicted in a coat of arms, typically on a scroll under the arms, or else above it as in Scots heraldry.

heraldry series
Shield - Mantling - Supporters - Compartment - Motto - Crest