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.[citation needed]. The actual meaning of the phrase can be obtained as the following: "anything can be achieved if proper work is applied".

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 College of Engineering, Guindy in Chennai, India and founded in the year 1794 has the phrase "Labor Omnia Vincit" in its logo. This may be the earliest adoption of the phrase by any organization.

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 slogan 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 granted by King Phillip II in 1588 and the city of León, State of Guanajuato, Mexico, and in the city of Presidente Prudente, Brazil as well as the city of Polokwane, formerly known as Pietersburg in South Africa. It is the motto of Carlton Cricket Club in Barbados. It is also the motto of Kajang High School and 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 • In cinema this slogan was used in a landmark French picture "Le Voyage dans la lune" or "A Trip To The Moon" a silent film brought to life in 1902 by director Georges Méliès. This is a classic vision about a group of men venturing to the moon and back. The scene in which the slogan is depicted comes at the end when they return to earth. Celebrating the triumph, a statue is brought forth with a scholar pointing to the heavens with the word SCIENCE surrounded by olive branches on the base, above this states the term LABOR • OMNIA • VINCIT

Educational institutions[edit]

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

  • Moçâmedes, est. 1840, Angola
South Africa
  • H.T.S. Loiue Botha, Bloemfontein, South Africa
  • High School Westonaria, Westonaria, Gauteng, South Africa

South America The Bishops' High School

  • Robert Carruthers Primary School, Witbank, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Caribbean and Central America
  • Academia Naval Illingworth, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Hong Kong
New Zealand
  • Peruvian Northamerican Abraham Lincoln School, Lima, Peru

[2] Labor omnia vincit#/editor/3

South Africa
  • Tshepagalang High School

Northwest [Brits]

Sri Lanka
United Kingdom
United States
Ghana (West Africa)
  • St Augustine's College, Cape Coast, Ghana
Nigeria (West Africa)
  • Offa Grammar School, Offa, Kwara State, Nigeria
Lesotho (Southern Africa)
  • Mamathe High School, Teya-teyaneng, Berea, Lesotho
Kenya ( Eastern Africa)
  • Mombasa Technical Training Institute, Mombasa Kenya.
  • Menengai High School, Nakuru Kenya.(added by Michael Theuri Allumini (2005-2008)0712034113
  • Bhujoharry College (Boys), Port Louis, Mauritius
  • Escuela Nº 1 Dalmacio Vélez Sarsfield, Concordia, Argentina
  • Queen's College, Hong Kong
  • Sekolah Menengah Gajah Berang, Melaka, Malaysia
  • St. Xavier's Institution, Penang, Malaysia
  • Elite's Co-Ed School, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • "Nicolae Kretzulescu" Superior Economic School (College), Bucharest, Romania
  • Universidad a distancia de Madrid,(UDIMA), Madrid, Spain
  • Rusea's High School, Lucea Jamaica
  • Instituto Mairiporã - Thomaz Cruz, Mairiporã, Brazil
  • St. Jago High School, Spanish Town, Jamaica
  • Flintstone Engineering, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Universidade A Politecnica, Maputo, Mozammbique
  • Greenwich University, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Suva Sangam College, Suva, Fiji Islands

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UBC Emblem". United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Archived from the original on 2010-03-07. Retrieved 2009-09-12.