Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The National Motto

An earlier post described confusion over the national motto at the Congressional Visitors Center. Now the president is in a similar position. The LA Buzz Examiner reports:

On Monday, Congressman J. Randy Forbes, along with 42 bipartisan Members of theCongressional Prayer Caucus sent a letter to President Obama requesting that he issue a correction for misstating the National Motto.

In a speech that the President gave at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta on November 10, 2010 he said, “It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum - out of many one...our nations show that hundreds of millions who hold different beliefs can be united in freedom under one flag.”

In the letter, the Caucus states that in 1957; Congress passed a Bill establishing “In God We Trust” as the National Motto of the United States of America. This bill was later signed into law by President Eisenhower. The Caucus also points out that in the same speech the President states being united under one flag when, in fact, our Pledge of Allegiance clearly says that as Americans we are “one nation under God.”

Americans United for Separation of Church and State disagrees:

"Given the state of the economy, the unemployment rate and the precarious state of world affairs, the president has a lot to do," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, by contrast, appear to have a lot of time on their hands."

AU pointed out that "E Pluribus Unum" appears on the Great Seal of the United States, which was codified in 1782, and the phrase is still used on coinage. In citing it, Obama was trying to make the point that even though Americans are of diverse backgrounds, they have joined together as one nation.