The slogan for the Canadian province of Quebec. Loosely translated, it means "I remember". It alludes to both the perils of being a French minority in a continent of English as well as the memory of being a conquered people.

Segnbora-t: thanks for the grammatical bit on the "me" part.

"Remember," in French, is a reflexive verb, "se souvenir" -- there's *always* a pronoun before the verb. No matter who is remembering or what they are remembering. "I remember you" would be "Je me souviens de toi." So there really isn't much significance to the presence of a "me" in the slogan. (This writeup was done as a correction to the earlier writeup's interpretation of the pronoun "me" being present -- I'm leaving it up for now as a French grammar lesson.)

The motto of Quebec has been part of the armorial bearings of Quebec since 1939 but it was already in use since 1883, thanks to the designer of the Hotel of the Parliament, Eugene-Étienne Taché.

Taché had planned to place the coat of arms of the province above the main entrance of the Hotel du Parlement and to inscribe a motto of his own: "Je me souviens" (I remember). He prepared plans for this purpose and these were annexed to the contract of construction signed in 1883 under the authority of a decree of the Executive Council. Thus the motto imagined by Taché was ratified by the Québec government.

Several authors sought the meaning of this motto. André Duval sees there the response of a Canadian-French subject to the motto of the Marquis de Lorne, governor general of Canada, which is in the hall of the Parlement Building: "Ne obliviscaris" (Lest you forget). Conrad Laforte believes that Taché took as a starting point a phrase off the book "Un Canadien Errant" by Antoine Gérin-Lajoie: "Go, tell my friends that I remember them".

These recent interpretations (1970s) do not seem to correspond anymore to those which circulated around the turn of the 20th century which were more likely true to its meaning which, unfortunately, the original author never put down on paper.

Judge Jetté, in a 1890 speech, evoked the feelings of the Canadians when the French flag reappeared on the river in 1855: "Yes, I remember, these are our people". According to Pierre-George Roy, this motto clearly invokes "the past, the present and the future of the only French province of the Canadian Confederation". Ernest Gagnon, who was secretary of the department of Public Works at the time and knew Taché well, writes that this motto admirably summarizes "the raison d'être of Champlain and Maisonneuve's Canada as a distinct province of the Confederation".

The interpretation of Mr Gagnon is probably very close to the intentions of Taché. While designing the exterior of the Parliament building, he wanted to pay homage to the men and the women who marked the history of Québec.

«Je me souviens que né sous le lys, je croîs sous la rose.»
I remember that born under the lily, I prospered under the rose

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