Pro aris et focis
Meaning "For God and country" or literally "for our altars and our hearths", but is used by ancient authors to express attachment to all that was most dear and venerable. It could be more idiomatically translated "for hearth and home;" as the Latin term "aris", generally refers to either the altars of the spirits of the house and is often used as a synecdoche for the family home. Thus the famous Latin orator and philosopher Cicero uses the phrase to emphasize the importance of his argument in his philosophical work De Natura Deorum (3.40).
"Pro Aris et Focis" is the motto of many families such as the Waits of Scotland, a private members club in Australia, the United Service Club Queensland and of military regiments all over the world, such as the Middlesex Yeomanry of Britain, the Royal Queensland Regiment of Australia and the Victoria Rifles of Canada. And also in France, during French Revolution, Henri du Vergier, Marquis de La Rochejacquelein, General-in Chief of the Catholic and Royal Vendean Army, took this motto.
Motto of Institutions
"Pro Aris et Focis" is the motto for "Academia San Jorge," a Puerto Rico PK-12 school. The motto is embedded in the school's shield and logo. The school is located in Santurce, Puerto Rico.
"Pro Aris et Focis" is the motto for 'Maritzburg College, a high school in South Africa, and the motto is embedded in the school's shield.
"Pro Aris et PRO Focis" was the motto of the 71st New York State Volunteers, "The American Guard", which was formed not long before the Civil War and saw service in that War, and down to almost the present time. Its HQ was in the old Armory at 34th and Park Avenue in New York City. The building no longer stands, but plaque parts of its original structure have been incorporated into the walls of the skyscraper that presently occupies the site.
Death of Osama Bin Laden
In May 2011, the phrase "For God and country" was used as a confirmation signal by U.S. Navy SEALs during the Death of Osama bin Laden in Abottabad, Pakistan. On his radio, the U.S. Navy SEAL responsible for killing bin Laden reported over a radio, “For God and country, Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo.” After a pause, he added, “Geronimo EKIA” (enemy killed in action).
- De Natura Deorum (3.40) at thelatinlibrary.com.
- Daniel S. Wheeler. "For God and country". American Legion. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
Ten years ago, the Legionnaires at Post 258 in Jonesboro, Sa., felt like they were carrying out the organization's mission of "For country." But they felt their obligation to the other party of the Legion's motto, "For God," wasn't being met. So they did something about it. And now, the post's Chapel for God and Country is in its 10th year of hosting a Sunday morning interdenominational worship service. The service provides fellowship for verterans and non-veterans alike, and has actually helped boost membership in the post. An idea that at first glance may seem unconventional is actually carrying out the Legion's very core values. Members of our post become concerned about the fact that although our motto is 'For God and country,' we had inadequately emphasized the spiritual dimension of the soldier and the veteran." said Post 258 member Herbert Kitchens, who retired in 2002 after 28 years as a U.S. Army chaplain and now serves as the chapel pastor.
- Philip Sherwell (May 7, 2011). "Osama bin Laden killed: Behind the scenes of the deadly raid". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- Schmidle, Nicholas, "Getting Bin Laden", The New Yorker, August 8, 2011.