Pro aris et focis

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Pro aris et focis ("for hearth and home") and Pro Deo et patria ("for God and country") are two Latin phrases used as the motto of many families, military regiments and educational institutions. Pro aris et focis literally translates "for altars and hearths", but is used by ancient authors to express attachment to all that was most dear and is more idiomatically translated "for hearth and home", since the Latin term aris generally refers to the altars of the spirits of the house (the Lares) and is often used as a synecdoche for the family home.

Family motto[edit]

Pro Aris et Focis is the motto of many families such as the Blomfields of Norfolk, the Mulvihills of Ireland, the Waits of Scotland, a private members club in Australia, the United Service Club Queensland and of military regiments all over the world, such as the Middlesex Yeomanry of Britain, the Royal Queensland Regiment of Australia and the Victoria Rifles of Canada. And also in France, during French Revolution, Henri du Vergier, Marquis de La Rochejacquelein, General-in Chief of the Catholic and Royal Vendean Army, took this motto.

Secret society[edit]

Pro Aris et Focis is the name of a secret society in Brussels in 1789 which prepared the Brabant Revolution against the Austrian Emperor Joseph II. The leading figure was Jan-Baptist Verlooy.[1]

Motto of institutions[edit]

Formal end of the "orange" military Civic guard in Haarlem, and start of a new "Patriotic people's militia" called "Pro Aris et Focis" (1787)

"For God and country" is the motto of the American Legion.[2]

Deo et Patriae is the motto of Regis High School (New York City).[3] Pro Deo et Patria is the motto of both Archbishop Carroll High School and American University in Washington, D.C.

"Pro Aris et Focis is the motto for "Academia San Jorge," a Puerto Rico PK-12 school. The motto is embedded in the school's shield and logo. The school is located in Santurce, Puerto Rico.[citation needed]

Pro Aris et Focis is the motto for Maritzburg College, a high school in South Africa, and the motto is embedded in the school's shield.[4]

Pro Aris et PRO Focis was the motto of the 71st New York State Volunteers, "The American Guard", which was formed not long before the Civil War and saw service in that War, and down to almost the present time. Its HQ was in the old Armory at 34th and Park Avenue in New York City. The building no longer stands, but plaque parts of its original structure have been incorporated into the walls of the skyscraper that presently occupies the site.[citation needed]

It one of the mottoes of Bristol University.[citation needed]

"For God, for Country, and for Yale" is one of the mottoes of Yale University, inscribed in stone on many of the university's residential colleges and frequently invoked at the annual Harvard-Yale football game. It also features in Yale college songs like Bright College Years and is often seen on flyers and graffiti on the Yale campus.

"Deus et Patria" is the motto of the NAS Oceana based U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 32, nicknamed "The Fighting Swordsmen".

God, Family, and Country[edit]

There exists a traditional English Hendiatris that combines elements from both of the Latin mottoes: "God, Family, and Country". The phrase is meant to express devotion to what many consider the three pillars of traditional society: religion, family values, and patriotism.[5]

Death of Osama Bin Laden[edit]

In May 2011, the phrase "For God and country" was used as a confirmation signal by U.S. Navy SEALs during the death of Osama bin Laden in Abottabad, Pakistan. On his radio, the U.S. Navy SEAL Ground Commander reported over a radio, “For God and country, Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo.” After a pause, he added, “Geronimo EKIA” (enemy killed in action).[6][7]


  1. ^ Blom, J. C. H.; Lamberts, E., eds. (2006). History of the Low Countries (New ed.). New York [u.a.]: Berghahn Books. p. 293. ISBN 978-1845452728.
  2. ^ Daniel S. Wheeler. "For God and country". American Legion. Retrieved 2007-12-31. Ten years ago, the Legionnaires at Post 258 in Jonesboro, Sa., felt like they were carrying out the organization's mission of "For country." But they felt their obligation to the other party of the Legion's motto, "For God," wasn't being met. So they did something about it. And now, the post's Chapel for God and Country is in its 10th year of hosting a Sunday morning interdenominational worship service. The service provides fellowship for veterans and non-veterans alike, and has actually helped boost membership in the post. An idea that at first glance may seem unconventional is actually carrying out the Legion's very core values. Members of our post become concerned about the fact that although our motto is 'For God and country,' we had inadequately emphasized the spiritual dimension of the soldier and the veteran." said Post 258 member Herbert Kitchens, who retired in 2002 after 28 years as a U.S. Army chaplain and now serves as the chapel pastor.
  3. ^ "Regis High School: Welcome to Regis High School".
  4. ^ "Our History".
  5. ^ Grossman, Cathy Lynn (March 20, 2015). "Americans don't cite 'God, family, country' quite like the cliche goes". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.
  6. ^ Philip Sherwell (May 7, 2011). "Osama bin Laden killed: Behind the scenes of the deadly raid". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  7. ^ Schmidle, Nicholas, "Getting Bin Laden", The New Yorker, August 8, 2011.

External links[edit]

Media related to Pro aris et focis at Wikimedia Commons