West Virginia has a compelling origin, breaking away from the Confederate state of Virginia during the Civil War. There’s an appeal to that, especially to people upset by all the celebrations of the Confederacy that still exist in the South. And I think the state motto should reflect that during the nation’s greatest crisis, West Virginia was on the right side of history, as a matter of choice rather than geographic accident.
The current motto is “Montani Semper Liberi” or “Mountaineers are always free.” It ties into that a little bit, as a reminder of the independence of the people of the state. But I propose something more attention-grabbing, like “Fuck Jefferson Davis.”
It would be a contrast to the nine states that celebrate Confederate Memorial Day. The problem with any event celebrating the nobility of those who died fighting for the Confederacy has always been that these were people so disgusted by the election of the greatest man the country ever produced that they left the Union to fight for one of the worst causes in human history: the continuation of slavery. The true heroes of the Confederate States were those who left and joined the other side. And that’s something for West Virginians to be proud of, and possibly try to exploit for financial gain.