Annuit Coeptis Motto

oie_26417112RPA5WgS(3)Translating ANNUIT COEPTIS

_ANNUIT means to nod approval, to favor or to smile upon.
_COEPTIS means undertakings, progress, endeavors or the beginnings.

Annuit coeptis motto means “favors (lit., gives the nod to) undertakings.” The subject must be supplied. Who favors? The Eye (Providence) does.

The verb annuit can be either present tense or perfect tense, therefore an accurate translation of the motto is: “Providence favors our undertakings” or “Providence has favored our undertakings.” (The word “our” is supplied.)

It has also been translated as: “He favors our undertakings” or “He has prospered our endeavors.”

The meaning of this motto is better understood when seen in its original classical context.

Many leaders of the American Revolution felt that Providence had often intervened to enable them to achieve Independence from Great Britain, particularly General George Washington who said:

Building the Washington Monument

“The many remarkable inter-positions of the divine government, in the hours of our deepest distress and darkness, have been too luminous to suffer me to doubt the happy issue of the present contest.” (March 26, 1781)

“The Commander in Chief earnestly recommends that the troops not on duty should universally attend with that seriousness of Deportment and gratitude of Heart which the recognition of such reiterated and astonishing inter-positions of Providence demand of us.” (October 20, 1781)

The Annuit Coeptis Motto reflects the suggested Mottoes by the third committee (Deo Favente) as well as by the first committee (Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God).

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