North Carolina State Motto

Esse quam videri

To be rather than to seem

The state motto of North Carolina is "Esse Quam Videri," which is a Latin phrase meaning "To be, rather than to seem." This motto emphasizes the importance of authenticity and sincerity, encouraging the state and its residents to embody genuine qualities rather than merely appearing to have them. Adopted in 1893, the motto reflects a commitment to substance over mere appearance and has become a guiding principle for North Carolina's identity and values.