Sic semper tyrannis – According to Wikipedia: “It is the official motto of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania. In the United States it is best known as the words John Wilkes Booth shouted during his assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.”
So let me start with the biggest doozie right away: A US state has a popular quote attributed to a president-killer as its official motto and on seals and stuff and seems to not be causing diplomatic distress.
Now if you wonder about the context, since Lincoln was far from being an icon of tyranny and, being the US president, far from being an absolute ruler, AND those opposed to Lincoln wanted to keep slavery in place(!), combine that with the fact that this might be among the weirdest shortenings in the history of quotes.
Wikipedia: “The full quotation is Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis (literally: “Thus always I eradicate tyrants’ lives”)”
What genius had the idea to make the shortened supposed equivalent “sic semper tyrannis”?! Because this translates as “Thus always (to) tyrants.” which is pretty close to being the opposite of the original saying. This almost reads like on of those cruel symbolic jokes that a shadow government would play due to being drunk with power and success. I mean, I have trouble believing that people can actually be that messed up and make it the official motto of Virginia and put it on seals without realizing the implications and then it’s still not changed today. Why are people even making a fuss over the idea of murdering a US president if Virginia’s official motto still glorifies that and by extension slavery, which is a common result of tyranny? And did the word mortem not fit on the seal or what? Or did they not want to advocate murder and thought if they just leave out the word, it will be different?
This isn’t on the same level as names like “Drug Enforcement Agency” (They are enforcing drugs? Huh?), since that could just be a product of a weird way of interpreting language and wanting to make it a three-letter acronym. No, this is even more questionable than the “novus ordo seclorum” on dollar bills, but strangely much less talked about, it seems.
It’s seriously weirding me out!