United We Stand, Divided We Fall

History of the Motto

The popular motto “United we stand, divided we fall,” often shortened lớn “United We Stand” is commonly used to lớn express unity và collaboration. The phrase is used to lớn encourage and inspire, and sends the message that working together is easier, as there is strength in numbers, whereas doing things alone is harder and invites failure. Its vi xử lý core concept lies in the collectivist notion that if individual members of a certain group with binding ideals – such as a union, coalition, confederation or alliance – work on their own instead of as a team, they are each destined lớn fail và will all be defeated. This phrase has been used time & again throughout history khổng lồ rally groups together and you will still hear it used today where the message remains the same.

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Use in U.S. History

The first attributed use in modern times is lớn Founding Father John Dickinson in his pre-Revolutionary War song “The Liberty Song”, first published in theBoston Gazettein July 1768. In the tuy nhiên Dickinson wrote: “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!” Kentucky entered the Union on June 1, 1792. A little over six months later, on December 20, 1792, the first Kentucky General Assembly adopted the official seal of the Commonwealth, including the state motto, United We Stand, Divided We Fall.


United We Stand’ license plate designed by Troy Wingard for the South Carolina Department of Public Safety in 2002

Patrick Henry used the phrase in his last public speech, given in March 1799, in which he denounced The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. Clasping his hands & swaying unsteadily, Henry declaimed, “Let us trust God, và our better judgment to set us right hereafter.


United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.” At the kết thúc of his oration, Henry fell into the arms of bystanders and was carried, almost lifeless, into a nearby tavern. Two months afterward, he died.

During his unsuccessful campaign (technically speaking) against Stephen Douglas in 1858, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech centered on the House divided analogy to illustrate the need for a universal decision on slavery across all states.

Since 1942, this phrase has been the official non-Latin state motto of Kentucky.<3>The U.S. State of Kentucky’s first governor, Isaac Shelby, was particularly fond of the stanza from “The Liberty Song”.

On the Missouri flag, the phrase is also written around the center circle.

Modern Political Uses Outside the U.S.

Examples of political uses outside the U.S. Include the following:

This statement was also a common phrase used in India lớn garner political tư vấn during struggle for independence from the British Empire.The motto is also used by Ulster loyalists, và can be seen in some loyalist Northern Irish murals.The Economistedition that appeared during Brexit was entitled “Divided we fall”.The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, used the motto in his letter of invitation to the heads of state và government of the EU, for their informal summit in Valletta, Malta, on February 3, 2017. Tusk addressed the motto lớn the leaders of the 27 thành viên states of the future EU without the United Kingdom.


The United We Stand chiến dịch has been in popular use since the time of the American Revolution. It originated in the fourth verse of a 1768 patriotic ballad,The Liberty Song, by John Dickinson.

During the Civil War, the phrase became a rallying cry for the Union cause. By the early 20th century, labor unions had taken up the biểu ngữ as a điện thoại tư vấn for solidarity in the struggle for better working conditions.

In World War II, United We Stand invoked not just American patriotism but unity among the Allied nations, as expressed by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in her address to the U.S. Congress on August 5, 1942: “United we stand, & united we will achieve victory.”

Most recently, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the phrase United We Stand reemerged along with the flag as Americans confronted a new national crisis.



DURING JULY 1942,seven months after the United States entered World War II, magazines nationwide featured the American flag on their covers. Adopting the khẩu hiệu United We Stand, some five hundred publications waved the stars và stripes to promote national unity, rally tư vấn for the war, and celebrate Independence Day.

FOR MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS,displaying the flag was a way lớn prove their loyalty và value to the war effort. For the U.S. Government, the campaign was an opportunity to lớn sell bonds & boost morale. The magazines brought trang chủ a message of patriotism and ideals worth fighting for.

THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORYpresents this exhibition lớn mark the sixtieth anniversary of the United We Stand campaign. We hope you enjoy touring the virtual exhibit, and we also invite you khổng lồ visit the Museum, where nearly one hundred original flag covers will be on view from March 22 to October 27, 2002.

TODAY, IN LIGHT OF THE TERRORIST ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001,the flag & the khẩu hiệu United We Stand have a renewed meaning for many Americans. As the home of the Star-Spangled Banner, the National Museum of American History is a place to explore the history of our national symbol & the ideals for which it stands.

Popular Culture

Examples in popular culture include the following:

The lyrics “United we stand, divided we fall” are featured in the song “United We Stand” performed by The Brotherhood of Man (written by Tony Hiller và Peter Simons). This tuy vậy was also performed by Sonny và Cher và Elton John.Geraldo Pino used the phrase in the tuy nhiên “Shake Hands”.In the tuy vậy “Hey You” performed và written by the band Pink Floyd, a similar term with the same meaning, “Together we stand, divided we fall”, is used.Tupac Shakur used the line “united we stand, divided we fall..” in the tuy vậy “Last Wordz” of his second album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. Featuring Ice Cube và Ice-T.Wilbert Harrison used the similar “Together we’ll stand, Divided we’ll fall” in his tuy nhiên “Let’s Work Together”.In the Sum 41 tuy nhiên “Confusion & Frustration In Modern Times”, the phrase “Divided we stand, Together we fall” is used. Thành phố new york Hardcore punk band Agnostic Front use the lyrics “United we stand, divided we fall, Gotta gotta go” in their tuy vậy “Gotta Go”, which was featured on Punk-O-Rama Vol. 3. Punk band Smoke or Fire also used the reverse lyric “United we stand, divided we’ll fall” in their tuy nhiên “What Separates Us All”, from their 2007 album This Sinking Ship.The Dutch band Heideroosjes use the lyrics in their tuy vậy “Time is Ticking Away”. It is also used in The Dropkick Murphys’ “Boy’s on the Docks”. The 3rd Mission in Operation Flashpoint rồng Rising is called “United we stand”. A slightly different version is mentioned by the heavy metal band Judas Priest in his tuy vậy “United” (“united we stand, united we never shall fall”). 3T also used the exact words on their debut album Brotherhood, the tuy nhiên being entitled “Brotherhood” also.Australian artist Kid Mac used the phrase in his song titled “My Brothers Keeper” on his album titled No Man’s Land.The reverse was also used by Def Leppard in the tuy nhiên “When Love & Hate Collide”, “..divided we stand, baby, united we fall” and in The Strokes song “Someday”, “See, alone we stand, together we fall apart”.It also appears in the tuy vậy “United”, by the Finnish nguồn metal group Stratovarius.In the album Nero from Two Steps from Hell, one of the tracks is titled “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”. It was also included on their subsequent album Archangel.The phrase “United stand! Divided fall!” appears in the Norwegian folk metal/viking metal group Glittertinds song “Longships and Mead”.“Together we stand, divided we fall” is repeated various times in the tuy vậy “Killing ground” by longtime English metal band Saxon.Divided We Fall & United We Stand are events in the Marvel Comics series Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates.The phrase also appeared in the “United We Stand” episode of nguồn Rangers Megaforce.“United We Stand” and “Divided We Fall” are sequential songs in the Thomas Was Alone soundtrack.Deathcore band Bring Me the Horizon uses the phrase “United we fail, divided we fall.” in their song “Anti-vist.”J. K. Rowling in her book Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire says “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”<5>In the C.G.I. Transformers show Transformers Prime, this phrase is played upon. As Megatron succeeds in destroying the Autobot base và chasing out the Autobots after an intense war, he & Starscream visit the ruins with Starscream commenting. “United we stand, divided they fall.” Rather than attributing both values to one party, each is shown to lớn have a respective value at that time, especially given Starscream has recently rejoined the Decepticons.The statement is used in videos released in 2012<6> by the “hacktivist” group Anonymous.S Club 7 said it in their TV shows Miami 7, L.A.7 & Viva S Club và when they did it they would get hurt by the lightning.“For together we stand, divided we fall” is mentioned in the opening line of the chorus for the Donna Cruz song “Yesterday’s Dream”.Asian Dub Foundation said in their song called “The Judgement”: “Present and the future we will never fall/Realize united we stand & divided we fall”The 2013 video game Grand Theft auto V features a variant of the phrase; ‘United We Stand, Together We Fall – Thanks for the bailout America’ in an in-game commercial for the oto manufacturer Bravado.Marvel Studios repeated the phrase, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” during their Super Bowl 50 ad for Captain America: Civil War.In Fallout 4 while gaining entrance to lớn the armory room at the Castle, the password for the terminal is “United We Stand”. “United We Stand” is also the name of the perk the player gets for reaching the highest rank of character affinity with Preston Garvey, a key thành viên of the Commonwealth Minutemen faction. The perk makes the player khuyến mãi 20% more damage and provides +20 damage resistance when fighting against three or more enemies.Norwegian black Metal band Darkthrone named one tuy nhiên on their album Hate Them “Divided We Stand”.The verse is used repetitively in British cabaret trio Fascinating Aïda’s Brexit reaction song.

United We Stand Biblical References

Matthew 12:25Knowing their thoughts, he said lớn them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, và no thành phố or house divided against itself will stand.Mark 3:25And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.Corinthians 1:10I appeal khổng lồ you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, và that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind và the same judgment.

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Sixth Century B.C. Aesop United We Stand Fables

The Four Oxen an the Lion

A LION used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used lớn dwell. Many a time he tried to lớn attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, và each went off khổng lồ pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one & soon made an end of all four.


The Bundle of Sticks

AN OLD man on the point of death summoned his sons around him lớn give them some parting advice. He ordered his servants to bring in a faggot of sticks, & said khổng lồ his eldest son: “Break it.” The son strained và strained, but with all his efforts was unable khổng lồ break the Bundle. The other sons also tried, but none of them was successful. “Untie the faggots,” said the father, “and each of you take a stick.” When they had done so, he called out khổng lồ them: “Now, break,” và each stick was easily broken. “You see my meaning,” said their father.


Quotes About Unity


“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”― J.K. Rowling,Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


“And all the books you’ve read have been read by other people. And all the songs you’ve loved have been heard by other people. & that girl that’s pretty to you is pretty lớn other people. & that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing ‘unity.”― Stephen Chbosky,The Perks of Being a Wallflower


“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude & bond.”― Gwendolyn Brooks


“One love, one heart . . .Let’s get together và feel all right”― Bob Marley,Bob Marley – Legend


“Imagine there’s no countriesIt isn’t hard to doNothing to lớn kill or die forAnd no religion tooImagine all the peopleLiving life in peaceYou may say that I’m a dreamerBut I’m not the only oneI hope someday you’ll join usAnd the world will be as one”― John Lennon,Imagine

“We are all equal in the fact that we are all different. We are all the same in the fact that we will never be the same. We are united by the reality that all colours và all cultures are distinct & individual. We are harmonious in the reality that we are all held khổng lồ this earth by the same gravity. We don’t nói qua blood, but we nội dung the air that keeps us alive. I will not blind myself and say that my black brother is not different from me. I will not blind myself và say that my brown sister is not different from me. But my black brother is he as much as I am me. But my brown sister is she as much as I am me.”― C. JoyBell C.

“The most dangerous people in the world are not the tiny minority instigating evil acts, but those who vì the acts for them. For example, when the British invaded India, many Indians accepted to work for the British to lớn kill off Indians who resisted their occupation. So in other words, many Indians were hired khổng lồ kill other Indians on behalf of the enemy for a paycheck. Today, we have mercenaries in Africa, corporate armies from the western world, and unemployed men throughout the Middle East killing their own people – and people of other nations – for a paycheck. To act without a conscience, but for a paycheck, makes anyone a dangerous animal. The devil would be powerless if he couldn’t entice people to vày his work. So as long as money continues khổng lồ seduce the hungry, the hopeless, the broken, the greedy, and the needy, there will always be war between brothers.”― Suzy Kassem


“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”― Winston S. Churchill


“All for one and one for all.”― Alexandre Dumas,The Three Musketeers


“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to lớn the same fork are automatically tuned khổng lồ each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to lớn another standard khổng lồ which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to lớn Christ, are in heart nearer to lớn each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God lớn strive for closer fellowship.”― A.W. Tozer,The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine

“When two brothers are busy fighting, an evil man can easily attack và rob their poor mother. Mankind should always stay united, standing shoulder to lớn shoulder so evil can never cheat and divide them.”― Suzy Kassem,Rise Up và Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem


“You are never alone. You are eternally connected with everyone.”― Amit Ray,Meditation: Insights and Inspirations


“Love does not cost anything. Kind words and deeds bởi not cost anything. The real beauty of the world is equal for everyone to lớn see. It was given by God equally khổng lồ all, without restrictions.

Everyone, was given a beautiful vehicle in which to lớn express love to others. Feelings are không tính phí to express & give to lớn ourselves & each other through our willingness khổng lồ give và care.

What is complicated about this… Why have we made others feel they have lớn climb mountains and swim oceans in order khổng lồ make a difference.

All we need lớn understand my friends, is that human life was given equally khổng lồ us all, not partially but in totality.

The sun was given lớn all. It does not shine on the few. So, just has nature is indifferent lớn our station or situation, we need lớn know that we are all equal. We need to lớn focus on the things that are constant và not place our values on things that can be blown away with the next, great, wind.

Value life in what ever house it dwells. For when it comes time that we are all stripped lớn bare bones before the divine & facing eternity, we will understand that the only law we were meant to follow, was to love ourselves & each other. Nothing more…nothing less.”― Carla Jo Masterson


“The Destiny of Man is khổng lồ unite, not khổng lồ divide. If you keep on dividing you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees.”― T.H. White,The Once and Future King

“The downfall of the attempts of governments và leaders lớn unite mankind is found in this- in the wrong message that we should see everyone as the same. This is the root of the failure of harmony. Because the truth is, we should not all see everyone as the same! We are not the same! We are made of different colours và we have different cultures. We are all different! But the key to this door is khổng lồ look at these differences, respect these differences, learn from và about these differences, and grow in & with these differences. We are all different. We are not the same. But that’s beautiful. Và that’s okay.In the quest for unity and peace, we cannot blind ourselves and expect to lớn be all the same. Because in this, we all have an underlying belief that everyone should be the same as us at some point. We are not on a journey lớn become the same or lớn be the same. But we are on a journey lớn see that in all of our differences, that is what makes us beautiful as a human race, & if we are ever lớn grow, we ought to lớn learn và always learn some more.”― C. JoyBell C.

“If everyone helps to hold up the sky, then one person does not become tired.”― Askhari Johnson Hodari,Lifelines: The đen Book of Proverbs


“Whether it is good or evil, whether life in itself is pain or pleasure, whether it is uncertain-that it may perhaps be this is not important-but the unity of the world, the coherence of all events, the embracing of the big & the small from the same stream, from the same law of cause, of becoming and dying.”― Hermann Hesse,Siddhartha


“The deepest of level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless … beyond speech … beyond concept.”― Thomas Merton


One God, many faces.One family, many races.One truth, many paths.One heart, many complexions.One light, many reflections.One world, many imperfections.ONE.We are all one,But many.”― Suzy Kassem,Rise Up và Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem


“And in the case of superior things lượt thích stars, we discover a kind of unity in separation. The higher we rise on the scale of being, the easier it is khổng lồ discern a connection even among things separated by vast distances.”― Marcus Aurelius,Meditations

“Let us dedicate this new era khổng lồ mothers around the world, và also to the mother of all mothers — Mother Earth. It is up to lớn us to lớn keep building bridges to lớn bring the world closer together, và not destroy them to lớn divide us further apart. We can pave new roads towards peace simply by understanding other cultures. This can be achieved through traveling, learning other languages, and interacting with others from outside our borders. Only then will one truly discover how we are more alike than different. Never allow language or cultural traditions lớn come between brothers & sisters. The same way one brother may not lượt thích his sister’s choice of fashion or hairstyle, he will never hate her for her personal style or music preference. If you judge a man, judge only his heart. And if you should vị so, make sure you use the truth in your conscience when weighing one’s character. Bởi not measure anybody strictly based on the bad you see in them & ignore all the good.”― Suzy Kassem,Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Who Said “United We Stand Divided We Fall”?


While it seems like “United we stand, divided we fall” would be the war cry of a famous soldier, its actual first recorded use dates back toAesopand hisfables. This quote can be found as a direct statement in “The Four Oxen và the Lion.” It can also be found indirectly in “The Bundle of Sticks.” Popular biblical references Matthew 12:25 & Mark 3:25 convey the common message that a house divided against itself will not stand. This quote can also be associated with a variety of public figures throughout history as well as writers & musicians who have used it khổng lồ make an impact on their audience.

Aesop Quote Examples

The phrase “United we stand, divided we fall” has been traced back to the Greek story teller Aesop, who lived during the 6th Century B.C. Most people know him for the fables that have been handed down through time in his name, although as storytelling was anoral tradition, the true authorship of all these fables cannot be confirmed. Aesop may have penned some of the fables, but others have just been told in his name.

The Four Oxen và the Lion

The fable reads as follows:

A lion used to prowl about a field in which four oxen used khổng lồ dwell. Many a time he tried lớn attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails khổng lồ warn another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in the separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one & soon made an kết thúc of all four.

United we stand, divided we fall.

The Bundle of Sticks

The phrase, “United we stand, divided we fall,” is not used directly in this fable. However, the moral of the story is the same.

This short fable tells of a man whose sons often quarrel among themselves. To show them the benefit of working together, he brings them a bundle of sticks. He asks them khổng lồ break the bundle of sticks. As expected, the brothers cannot break the sticks when they are bundled together. However, they can easily be broken individually. The moral of this story is written:

“My sons, if you are of one mind, and unite to assist each other, you will be as this bundle, uninjured by all the attempts of your enemies; but if you are divided among yourselves, you will be broken as easily as these sticks.”

Although his sentiment can be found in two of his fables, Aesop was certainly not the last one to use this quote. It has endured for thousands of years và remains an important life lesson lớn learn.

You can find more quotes form Aesop’s fableshere.

Biblical Reference

Matthew 12:25Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.Mark 3:25And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.Corinthians 1:10I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, & that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind & the same judgment.

Historical Examples

There are many examples and variations of the phrase “united we stand, divided we fall” used throughout history. Some of these examples include:

“The Liberty Song” by John Dickinson, written in 1768. One line in the tuy nhiên is: “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.”“The Flag of Our Union” written by poet and journalist George Pope Morris in 1853. It uses the phrase in this verse: “A song for our banner! The watchword recall which gave the Republic her station: ‘United we stand, divided we fall!’ It made & preserves us a nation!”

Examples in Modern Culture

There are also many references khổng lồ the phrase “United we stand, divided we fall” in modern culture. While the phrase may vary in wording, the meaning remains the same. Some examples include:

Pink Floyd’s tuy vậy “Hey You” contains the following lyric: “Hey you, don’t tell me there’s no hope at all, Together we stand, divided we fall.”Brotherhood of Man uses the phrase in their tuy nhiên “United We Stand” as seen in these lyrics: “For united we stand, divided we fall, & if our backs should ever be against the wall, We’ll be together, together, you and I.”During Super Bowl 50, the phrase was used as part of Marvel Studio’s ad chiến dịch forCaptain America: Civil War. This phrase was a theme in the movie as well.

United We Stand… Meaning

The popular motto “united we stand, divided we fall,” often shortened lớn “united we stand,” is commonly used khổng lồ express unity and collaboration. The phrase is used to lớn encourage và inspire, và sends the message that working together is easier, as there is strength in numbers, whereas doing things alone is harder & invites failure. This phrase has been used time và again throughout history lớn rally groups together & you will still hear it used today where the message remains the same.