Talk:Semper fidelis

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L'viv Motto?[edit]

Was semper fidelis restored as the motto of todays L'viv?

I wondered about that, too, because it is most often referred to in historical documents, with the Latin name of the city ("Leopolis semper fidelis"). However, a couple of current web documents (one from the Vatican) apply it to modern L'viv. Maybe we should just email the city information office and ask. BTW, does anyone know the date when this motto became associated with L'viv? it would be sensible to arrange the users of the motto in date order on the page, but I have no idea whether L'viv's use is earlier or more recent than Exeter's - though we do have the date of the latter. seglea 10:13, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The date of the motto comes from 1658 when pope Alexander VII used the expression describing its heroic defense against constant attacks by infidels, in Poland it's generally used to refer to the times of the Polish-Bolshevik War.
And Polish-Ukrainian War as well...Halibutt

The motto of the Spanish Tercios was always "Semper Fidelis" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:58, 18 December 2008 (UTC)


Who are the Devonshire regiment? All it says is that they're known as the 11th... 02:49, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

The Castle[edit]

Common on the arms of cities; see Hamburg, for instance ( Thus not coincidence, because the castle represents a city. Often the crest above civic arms is a mural crown (looks like wall with battlements).

Spanish-speaking countries are very fond of civic appellations as "Muy Noble y Muy Leal," generally given by a sovreign in appreciation of loyalty in times of civil strife. Alfonxo X praised Seville as loyal: "No me han dejado" ("they did not abandon me") and so the civic arms show skein of yarn (madeja; it looks like an elongated figure 8) between the words "No Do," making a rebus of the king's praise.

Ordering the page[edit]

This page has been re-ordered several times, I suspect with enthusiasts for each of the owners of the motto wanting to put "their" organisation first. Could I plead that we adopt some consistent policy, and that it be ordering by date of acquisition, which is at least objective? However I can quite see that enthusiasts for the US Marines might not like their Corps being buried under historic cities, so I have put in some headings to force up a Table of Contents in the hope of keeping everyone reasonably happy.

On a second point, shouldn't the full words of the song go into Wikisource?

seglea 20:34, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


How is "Semper Fi" pronounced? Should be "Fi" as in "Hi-Fi", right? Because I heard a lot of "Fi"s as in "Five".

The "Fi" in "Hi-Fi" sounds the same as "Fi" in "Five".

It's pronounced fi as in fish!

Every time I've heard it pronounced it has been the same as "Fi" in "Five". However for that matter I've never heard anyone prononuce "Fi" from "Hi-Fi" as in "Fish"! Understandably it's an abbrevation of Fidelity but I'm yet to come across anyone who doesn't pronounce the pair Hi and Fi to match! -- (talk) 03:38, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Semper Fidelis is a latin term meaning always(semper) faithful(fidelis), and the correct pronunciation is "Fi" like "Fee", but the marine corp and other military organizations say it "Fie" way due to habit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

I doubt that one could say that there is a correct pronunciation of the Latin. Those of us who were taught classical Latin at school were told to pronounce words like "fidelis" with a short i, as in fish. But (a) we can't really say with much confidence how the Romans pronounced them and (b) once you abbreviate the word, it's almost impossible to pronounce "fi" like that anyway. As far as I know, from the end of the Roman empire, the pronunciation of Latin diverged in different countries - drastically in the vernacular, giving rise to Italian, Spanish etc - but to some extent even in Church and learned circles. "Semper fidelis" as a motto is medieval not classical Latin, and by the middle ages time people were probably pronouncing it however was easiest given their native languages. So if the Marines want to pronounce it "Semper Fie", I would say good luck to them: they are almost certainly following in the footsteps of the people who first used it as a motto. Just so long as they don't forget that we in Exeter were using it first! seglea (talk) 22:34, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

.mp3 file[edit]

The semper fidelis(.mp3) link doesn't work.

Yep, I guess they started blocking referrers. "Data files must be stored on the same site they are linked from."
Kurt 10:51, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Origins of Exeter's use of the motto[edit]

The story that the motto was granted by Elizabeth I to Exeter, though widely reported (e.g. on the Exeter City Council web page) is proving hard to source. The letter reported in the story is not in the city archives, according to the Devon Record Office who hold them. Exeter's arms were granted in 1547 and the formal description of the grant doesn't include the motto; and John Hooker's map of Exeter of 1587 (found here) clearly shows the arms without the motto. It would be good to document this one. seglea 01:04, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

working backwards... there's an 1835 map of Exeter at [1] which clearly shows the motto on the coat of arms. seglea 21:51, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

slightly POV statement[edit]

The following statement from the article seemed a bit POV:

"Semper fidelis" signifies the dedication and loyalty that individual Marines are expected to have (and inherently do have) for "Corps and Country".

I believe the statement would be better worded:

"Semper fidelis" signifies the dedication and loyalty that individual Marines are expected to have for "Corps and Country".

This wording conveys the same information but does not shed biased towards the USMC. I'm a huge fan of the Marines, but I think saying they "inherently" have dedication is a bit much. Saying most or all marines do might be okay if well worded, but Marines do not "inherently" have dedication. --Matthew 00:07, 30 December 2006 (UTC)


Just a slight bug: "...Per Terram" is the motto of the Royal Marines. Really. So

"There were three mottos prior to Semper Fidelis including "Fortitudine" (meaning "with courage") antedating the War of 1812, which was a nod to the British Royal Marines, "Per Mare, Per Terram" ("by sea, by land") and, up until 1843, there was also the motto "To the Shores of Tripoli". "

is actually not making a lot of sense. Are we saying the two Marines swapped mottoes? And do we mean the period 1805ish to 1843 was "...Tripoli" ? It's needlessly complicated at the minute. I can understand adopting the Tripoli one immediately after the Barbary War, but adopting it and then a decade later adopting the motto of an enemy victor (who themselves had only adopted it in the 1780's) seems flighty at best.

Since we've only got two dates and three mottoes, was there competition, unofficial adoption or what? The only other way to make sense of this seems to be to accept "Fortitudine" as some kind of homage to the RM motto. Which is confusing a whole other way. 22:26, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Videogame quote[edit]

The phrase "Semper Fi" was also used (allbeit just once) by John Dalton in the video-game Unreal2

Forever Faithful[edit]

I though Semper Fi meant Forever Faithful, or is my Latin wrong? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:47, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

What's the difference between "forever" and "always" both words are used alone in dictionaries to describe the other - I admit they have a different complexion. In translation of a two word phrase it's hard to tell which tone is right, but always has an overtone of "in diverse ways" too which adds to the notion of fidelity and enhances the motto IMO. Pbhj (talk) 03:39, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

The correct translation is actually "Always faithful", since the latin for "forever" is not "semper" but, more likely, "in perpetuum". Tommaso Leso —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:16, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Family backgrounds[edit]

The family histories are interesting, but only need briefly mentioned as this this an article on Semper fi, not those families. RlevseTalk 01:42, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Serviciul de Protecţie şi Pază[edit]

They also have semper fidelis as the motto. Mallerd (talk) 21:41, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Article contents - what is appropriate/notable?[edit]

It seems that, over a period of time, this article has become a bit of a random list of families, places, and organizations; most without citations. Semper fidelis seems to be a popular motto. Not every group that has it as its motto should be included in this article. I propose that there should be some basic criteria to decide whether an entry should be included.

Here are some ideas:

  • Must already have a Wikipedia article. By extension, this means that they have sufficient notabiltiy to pass an AfD.
  • Must have a citation from a reliable source to verify the motto.

ERcheck (talk) 21:09, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Agreed it's a bit of a mess. I have tried to tidy up a bit by not having subsections except in cities and martial, where more substantial commentary is worthwhile. seglea (talk) 17:40, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Well done whoever took the knife to the rag tag and bobtail of schools etc. In honour of this very sensible surgery, I have removed the cleanup tag. seglea (talk) 21:38, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Sports clubs[edit]

Some time ago we removed all the sports clubs from this page on the grounds that they were clutter. Another one has just appeared, posted by an anon; I have removed it but paste it in here in case we want to reinstate that section. Note that the club is apparently notable as defined above as there is a link to a page, but so were the other clubs we booted out.

BLUE PRIDE, Fanclub of Bulgarian football club Levski Sofia[edit]

Semper Fidelis is the motto of BLUE PRIDE, a fanclub of the most beloved Bulgarian football club

seglea (talk) 20:50, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Trivia - cut?[edit]

Anyone else in favour of cutting out the entire - and growing - trivia section? seglea (talk) 17:59, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

No protest was raised so I have cut it all out. If anyone wants it, it can be found in the history section for the edit preceding this data and time. seglea (talk) 17:08, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Rocmc.png[edit]

The image File:Rocmc.png is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --13:49, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


This link does not goto the USMC history of seals. Possibly needs to be cut. -- (talk) 17:57, 9 February 2009 (UTC)


An anon had added Ffrench to the list of families using Semper fidelis as a motto. I have removed it as it is not documented by Burke, who gives their motto as Malo mori quam foedari or Mors potius macula. If you wish to reinsert this please provide a source. seglea (talk) 20:43, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Sousa march[edit]

Does anyone else think that "Semper Fidelis" (the march by Sousa) should have its own entry apart from this one? I suspect it would stand on its own well enough; I'd be inclined to create it myself unless anyone strenuously disagrees. Blandoon (talk) 18:44, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Restoring cuts[edit]

An anon had removed the last few edits for no obvious reason. I have restored them, but in so doing may have removed some more recent valid edits - apologies if so. seglea (talk) 23:22, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Derogatory usage?[edit]

I looked up "Semper Fi" (for about the umpteenth time) when hearing or reading it (for about the umpteenth time) in Amercan films or books.

Not being from an Anglo_Saxon or _Latin_ culture, it keeps confusing me.

Being proud of my country and of the deeds of my elders, I find it impossible to understand or condone the "derogatory usage"?

Is anybody interested in explaining it to me? And to others keen on reading, watchin, and understanding? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:49, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Scanlon, Snowden etc[edit]

An anon had added Scanlon to the list of families using the motto. That may well be accurate, but that part of the articles starts out, "B. Burke (1884, p. 1180) lists the following..." and Scanlon is not in Burke's list. We could add a list of families not listed by Burke, but we would need evidence of their use. seglea (talk) 13:54, 20 November 2009 (UTC).

Similarly Snowden seglea (talk) 09:55, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

German Army Medical Corps[edit]

this is although used by the german army's medic corps, could add this anybody in proper english? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:57, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Semper Fidelis[edit]

Could you please add the now disbanded Devon and Dorset Regiment of the British Army who also proudly have Semper Fidelis as their moto and on their cap badge.


Mike — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:06, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Mike, feel free to put it in there. Recommend doing so with a reference of some sort. Go for it & someone will fix it up if there's an issue. Semper Fi! FieldMarine (talk) 13:08, 2 November 2012 (UTC)