Definitions

sustinet

Qui transtulit sustinet

[kwee trahns-too-lit soos-ti-net; Eng. kwahy trans-too-lit suhs-tuh-net, -tyoo-lit, kwee]

Qui transtulit sustinet (Latin "He who transplanted sustains", also "He Who Transplanted Still Sustains" or "He Who Transplanted Continues to Sustain") is the state motto of Connecticut depicted on a blue ribbon below the grapevines.

History of motto

The current motto looks a little different than of 1639 version (c.f. Sustinet qui transtulit). It was first seen in the colonies in 1639 on a seal brought from England by Colonel George Fenwick. The meaning of the motto was explained on April 23, 1775 in a letter stamped in Wethersfield, Connecticut: "We fix on our Standards and Drums the Colony arms, with the motto, Qui Transtulit Sustinet, round it in letters of gold, which we construe thus: God, who transplanted us hither, will support us".

However, this explanation for the origin of the motto is questionable. In 1889, State Librarian Charles J. Hoadly published an article, "The Public Seal of Connecticut" that indicated the 80th Psalm as a possible source. The article stated:

"The vines [on the State Seal] symbolize the Colony brought over and planted here in the wilderness. We read in the 80th Psalm: 'Thou has brought a vine out of Egypt: Thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it" - in Latin, 'Vineam de Aegypto transtulisti, ejicisti gentes et plantasti eam'; and the motto expresses our belief that He who brought over the vine continues to take care of it - Qui transtulit sustinet".

Great Seal of the State of Connecticut

The grapevines are said to represent more specifically either early towns or the early individual colonies. Some 19th century versions of the Connecticut Great Seal show several grapevines. The best answer today is that the grapevines should be taken to represent the three original colonies of Connecticut: (Hartford), Quinnipiac (New-Haven), and Saybrook, though it can also represent the first three settlements of the Connecticut colony proper- Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield, as New Haven and Saybrook were reluctant additions to Connecticut.

References

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