Gov. Bill Lee Signs Legislation Adding Phrase “Send Me” As Additional Tennessee State Motto

Image Credit: Thomas R Machnitzki / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Yesterday, April 25th, 2023, Governor Bill Lee signed legislation proposed by Conservative Representative Clay Doggett that officially adds the phrase “Send Me” as an additional state motto for the Volunteer State.

House Bill 0047 (HB0047), sponsored by Representative Clay Doggett (R-Pulaski-District 70) in the House, and Senate Bill 0810 (SB0810), sponsored by Senator Page Walley (R-Savannah-District 26) in the Senate, amends Tennessee Code Title 4, Chapter , Part 3 by adding the additional state motto “Send Me.”

During the House State Government Committee meeting on February 22nd, Doggett revealed that the idea for the bill came to him from a school teacher from Mount Pleasant, TN, who is one of his constituents.  

Doggett gave some background information for the bill stating that, “In 1987, the 95th General Assembly adopted the motto of the state as ‘Agriculture and Commerce’” and that the current motto does “not fully capture the spirit of Tennessee.”

“When people think of the 16th state, undoubtedly, a reference to the ‘Volunteers’ is made,” Doggett said, “Unofficially, we are known across the country as the Volunteer State.” 

Doggett said, “In 1812, 3,500 Tennessee men answered the call for volunteers and mustered at Camp Blount down in Fayetteville during the Red Stick rebellion and then later against the British in the Battle of New Orleans.  During the War of 1812, it was estimated that some 20,000 Tennesseans were present.”   

“President James K. Polk called for 2,600 Tennessee volunteers a few years later during the Mexican-American war and some 30,000 Tennesseans answered the call,” Doggett said, “Tennesseans also went to aid in Texas, back in 1835, to help fight for the Texas War of Independence.” 

“Time and time again over the 246 years of our state’s glorious history, Tennesseans have willingly gone forth to help their neighbors both near and far, in times of war and in times of natural disaster. It is that willingness to serve others that has earned Tennessee the nickname of the Volunteers,” Doggett stated.

With that, Doggett presented the idea for the additional state motto “Send Me,” to “reflect the heart of the people in this great state.”

Doggett said, “In Isaiah Chapter 6, Verse 8, we can read ‘And I hear the voice of the Lord saying ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, ‘here I am, send me.’”

“This piece of scripture shows how God wants willing volunteers in his service,” Doggett said. 

He stated that when God called for volunteers, Isaiah did not hesitate. “This is the spirit of Tennessee,” Doggett said. 

Watch and listen to Doggett’s full speech HERE.

Following Doggett’s speech, Representative Dennis Powers jokingly complained that earlier in subcommittee he had requested that the motto be changed to “Send my Mother-in-law” but he didn’t see where that had been added to the legislation.

Doggett’s bill received unanimous approval from Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate during all stages of the legislative process.

The bill was transmitted to Governor Lee on April 13th, 2023 and signed on April 25th.  

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at

4 thoughts on “Gov. Bill Lee Signs Legislation Adding Phrase “Send Me” As Additional Tennessee State Motto

  • April 26, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    Oh joy. That addition was so much more important than hundreds of pressing issues in the state. At the rate your going, Governor Lee, you’ll rank right up there with the Presidency of Jimmy Carter. Now that a worthy goal, not.

    • April 26, 2023 at 6:18 pm

      It was a wonderful thing that Governor Lee did by adding “Send Me”. I am proud to live in Tennessee, a great Strong Republican state with an equally as strong Governor. You may do well to read more about all the good Governor Lee has done. Also read up on what Marsha Blackburn, Bill Haggerty, Diana Harshbarger and others that represent the Great State of Tennessee are doing. They all rank pretty high. Powder off your spite shoes and leave!

  • April 26, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    A lot the politicians profess to be christians, all talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Politicians on both sides of the aisle. Sell out their constituents each an everyday to the highest bidder. There maybe a few honest legislators but I’m sure they are out numbered by all the bad apples. Lee has sold us out many times. This gesture is great. How about practicing what the Bible preaches. Try honesty.
    PROVERBS 12:17
    An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies.
    In God we trust not government or man.
    Have a blessed day.

  • April 27, 2023 at 5:04 pm

    I love the new motto as it fits hand in glove with our reputation as the Volunteer State. It is motivational, historical and aspirational. Will be great for our schoolchildren to learn and an excellent opportunity to teach them our Tennessee heritage and civic duty/citizenship.

    Thank you, Representative Doggett!


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