E pluribus unum
From Academic Kids
E pluribus unum is a national motto of the United States of America. Translated from Latin, it means "From many, one" or "Out of many, one," or in a direct translation, "From a plurality, unity." It referred to the integration of the 13 independent colonies into one united country, and has taken on an additional meaning, given the pluralistic nature of American society from immigration. The motto was selected by the first Great Seal committee in 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution. Pierre Eugene DuSimitiére originally suggested E pluribus unum as motto. In 1956, "In God We Trust" was added as another national motto, but did not replace E pluribus unum.
The phrase originally came from Moretum, a poem attributed to Virgil but with the actual author unknown, on the subject of a cheese recipe. In the poem text, color est e pluribus unus was mentioned describing the blending of colors into one. This motto was well known to literate Americans of the 18th century. It appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine, published monthly in London since 1731. The legend "E pluribus unum" was used on the title pages of the annual volumes that contained a collection of the year's twelve editions of the magazine.