Labor omnia vincit

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Labor omnia vincit inscribed on a floor tile showing the UBC Emblem.[1]
Labor Omnia Vincit 1657, Glasgow Cathedral

Labor omnia vincit is a Latin phrase meaning "Work conquers all". The phrase is adapted from Virgil's Georgics, Book I, line 145-6: ...Labor omnia vicit / improbus ("Steady work overcame all things"). The poem was written in support of Augustus Caesar's "Back to the land" policy, aimed at encouraging more Romans to become farmers.

Labor movement[edit]

A frequent motto within the U.S labor movement, the phrase is a historically significant slogan. Used by the earliest U.S labor unions such as the American Federation of Labor and other precursors to the modern AFL-CIO, the motto continues to be a traditional and defining statement of purpose on contemporary labor union emblems including the International Union of Operating Engineers and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. The motto also appears on the original 1925 flag of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the labor union of African-American Pullman Company porters founded by civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph.

The motto is used by the Geelong Trades Hall Council in Australia.

Cities, states, and recreation[edit]

The phrase is also a frequent motto across many townships, cities, and states. Currently the state motto of the State of Oklahoma and incorporated into its state seal in 1907, the motto originally appeared on the territorial seal of Oklahoma Territory. In addition, it has been known to be the motto of the city of El Eulma, Algeria as shown on its coat of arms, of the towns and cities of Bradford, West Yorkshire, West Bromwich, and Ilkeston in England, the motto of Wrexham County Borough Council in Wales and the state motto of Zacatecas and city of León, Guanajuato, Mexico, and in the city of Presidente Prudente, Brazil. It is the motto of Carlton Cricket Club in Barbados. It is also the motto of St Jago High School (Jamaica). It is a slogan of the football clubs Rasta IL in Norway and Luton Borough Youth in England. The phrase can be seen written in the golden letters on the so-called Kroch-Hochhaus in the center of German city Leipzig. It is also the motto of West Bromwich Albion FC

Educational institutions[edit]

Across the world, many educational institutions have adopted the phrase as a motto, including:

South Africa
Caribbean and Central America
Hong Kong
  • Peruvian Northamerican Abraham Lincoln School, Lima, Peru
Sri Lanka
United Kingdom
United States
Ghana (West Africa)
  • St Augustine's College, Cape Coast, Ghana
Lesotho (Southern Africa)
  • Mamathe High School, Teya-teyaneng,Berea, Lesotho
Kenya ( Eastern Africa)
  • Mombasa Technical Training Institute, Mombasa Kenya.


  1. ^ "UBC Emblem". United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Retrieved 2009-09-12.