The motto is often translated as "He (God) is favorable to our undertakings," but this is not the only possible translation. Thomson wrote: "The pyramid signifies Strength and Duration: The Eye over it & Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favour of the American cause." The original design (by William Barton) showed the pyramid and the motto Deo Favente Perennis "God favoring through the years."
The Latin elements are the perfective of annuere "indicate approval, agree to, grant," literally "nod to (as a sign)" (from assimilated form of ad "to;" see ad-, + nuere "to nod;" see numinous) + perfect passive of coeptus, past participle of coepere "to begin, commence."
French, "shame on him who thinks evil of it;" proverbial expression recorded from c. 1300, used as motto of the Order of the Garter.
motto of the United States, being one nation formed by uniting several states, 1782, Latin, from e "out of" (see ex-); ablative plural of plus "more" (see plus (n.)); neuter of unus "one" (from PIE root *oi-no- "one, unique"). Not found in classical Latin, though a variant of the phrase appears in Virgil (color est e pluribus unum); the full phrase was the motto of the popular Gentleman's Magazine from 1731 into the 1750s.
also gung-ho, gungho, 1942, slang motto of Carlson's Raiders (2nd Marine Raider Battalion, under Lt. Col. Evans Carlson, 1896-1947), U.S. guerrilla unit operating in the Pacific in World War II, from Chinese kung ho "work together, cooperate." Widely adopted in American English 1959.
Borrowing an idea from China, Carlson frequently has what he calls 'kung-hou' meetings .... Problems are threshed out and orders explained. [New York Times Magazine, Nov. 8, 1942]