L'Étoile du Nord

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The motto, as it appears on the Seal of Minnesota

L'Étoile du Nord is a French phrase meaning "The Star of the North". It is the motto of the U.S. state of Minnesota.[1] It was chosen by the state's first governor, Henry Hastings Sibley, and was adopted in 1861, three years after admission of Minnesota to the union.[2] Because of this motto, one of Minnesota's nicknames is The North Star State. The Minnesota North Stars chose the English translation for their name.

Many cities and place names in Minnesota owe their founding to or recall the presence of early French-Canadian settlers, such as St. Cloud, Duluth, Saint Paul, Hennepin County, Faribault, Voyageurs National Park and Lac qui Parle. The French language in Minnesota was widely spoken until the end of the 20th century.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2006 Minnesota Statute § 1.135, subd. 3(f)(1)". State of Minnesota Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  2. ^ "Minnesota State Symbols: State Motto". Retrieved 2007-02-19.