Qui Transtulit Sustinet

Oh Great Seal of the State of Connecticut. Oh Heraldic Achievement. Oh Emblazoned Shield. Oh Brave and Valiant Coat of Arms.

The motto Qui Transtulit Sustinet, translated from Chapter 79, Verse 3, of the Latin Vulgate Version of the Bible, means "He Who Transplanted Continues to Sustain" or "He Who Transplanted Still Sustains."  It has been said the motto originated during the early days of the battles fought at Lexington and Concord. In a letter prepared in Wethersfield, Connecticut and stamped the 23rd of April, 1775, it was inked and quilled, "We fix our Standards and Drums the colony arms with the motto, Qui Transulit Sustinet, round it in letters of gold which we construe thus: God, who transplanted us hither, will support us."

I sometimes question whether it was in fact God who transplanted us hither. I feel strongly that a transplant yonder--one not so...this actual spot, here, hitherto, this godforsaken place specifically--would have proven a much easier situation for Him to support. Maybe the Latin translates differently depending on the occasion or environment. For instance, a bugle sounds when a drum rolls then a general cries "QUI TRANSULIT SUSTINET!!!" and all the soldiers march onward toward uncertain victory or death. The hope is for the former of course--victory being the much preferred outcome to death--but in the moment it's more about the spontaneity of ignited passion than meaning. I presume at least some of the men who fought bravely in The Battles at Lexington and Concord were illiterate. And while reading and writing were valuable skills for men to possess at the time when being considered for promotions in the field, I cannot be certain that fluency in Latin was one such determining factor. It should follow then that any rousing pre-battle speech which uses the Latin vernacular to invigorate strength/inspire courage/instill hope should encourage small group breakout sessions where the men might unpack critical meaning before charging valiantly toward sweet sweet glorious victory or otherwise.

I just questions things. A lot of things I question. I do. I just do.


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