New Hampshire’s Motto, “Live Free or Die” is Under Attack Once Again
New Hampshire’s motto, live free or die, has been under attack before and now it is under attack once again. This time it is under attack from “The Governor’s Task Force for the Recruitment and Retention of a Young Workforce for the State of New Hampshire.”
From a New Hampshire Union Leader editorial on the subject, this is what the above mentioned task force says about New Hampshire’s motto:
Our State portrays an unfriendly message that every individual has to succeed on their own, rather than count on a support system for assistance (Live Free or Die is not a friendly, supporting message that appeals to young people)
Believing in individual freedom is somehow unfriendly and unpopular with young people while becoming dependant on a “support system” IE big government is what appeals to young people?
Giving up personal freedom to acquiesce to government is supposed to give us more freedom? I don’t get it.
Here is the Union Leader editorial reprinted in full, it sums up my feelings on this issue:
In nine days, New Hampshire’s state motto will turn 200 years old. It was July 31, 1809, when Gen. John Stark wrote to his comrades from the Battle of Bennington to offer this toast: “Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils.”
It is a horrible irony that weeks before this historic anniversary, “The Governor’s Task Force for the Recruitment and Retention of a Young Workforce for the State of New Hampshire” stated in its official report: “Our State portrays an unfriendly message that every individual has to succeed on their own, rather than count on a support system for assistance (Live Free or Die is not a friendly, supporting message that appeals to young people).”
How soft we have become. That ridiculous assessment is far from the reaction had by Stark’s fellow Bennington survivors, who wrote to him in 1810, “The toast, sir, which you sent us in 1809 will continue to vibrate with unceasing pleasure in our ears.”
They only won us our freedom. What do they know?
To the ears of modern 20- and 30-somethings consulted by the governor’s commission, the motto vibrates with stabbing pain. “Independence,” they hear, and recoil. Their parents probably still make their car and student loan payments.
The commission reported this recommendation from people interviewed: “Rebrand NH and make it more appealing; the Live Free Or Die motto is prohibitive to what young people are looking for in their home community.”
The commission members might like to know that “Live free or die” is not a brand. It is not a marketing slogan to be modified for maximum appeal to the ever-changing 18- to 34-year-old demographic. It is a motto, which curmudgeonly old Webster’s defines as “a sentence, phrase, or word inscribed on something as appropriate to or indicative of its character or use.”
Nothing is more indicative of the character of New Hampshire than our great motto. It is not to be changed to please the ears of lost youth fickle enough to pick a home state because it has a catchy slogan.
What a joke the “live free or die” state has become under Governor John Lynch!