"In God We Trust,” the national motto of the United States, is making its way back into the schools and DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Jason Barnett became the first person Tuesday to receive a poster of the motto.
“In God We Trust officially became the national motto of the United States of America in 1956 when the U.S. Congress passed it and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law.
President of Republican Women of DeKalb County Cindy Holcomb said the Republican Women of DeKalb County were in Montgomery when Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the permit to use the national motto by government agencies and offices.
The law states that the motto is permitted to be in and on government buildings, including government office buildings, public school classrooms, and on vehicles.
The law also says that the governing body of any political subdivision of the state or any state agency may display the national motto in and on public buildings and public vehicles, including but not limited to any of the following: school classrooms, courthouses, libraries, office buildings, law enforcement or service vehicle.
Holcomb said when the Republican Women of DeKalb County learned about the law, they immediately wanted to bring it back to DeKalb County.
Holcomb and Barnett met at the DeKalb County Schools Central Office for the official presentation of the first motto Tuesday.
Both Holcomb and Barnett said there was not a political agenda behind the motto that it was simply a way of recognizing the nation’s history.
“We stumbled up on it in Montgomery and we just happened to be the vehicle that latched on to it and we brought it back to DeKalb County,” Holcomb said. “It is nothing to do with the Republican Women. It is all about the national motto and the history of the national motto and getting it back into the schools.”
Barnett said he also wants to public to know that displaying the nation’s motto has nothing to do with politics.
“I believe that this is a powerful thing,” Barnett said. “When you do something like this, you run the risk of people saying that it’s a political thing and I don’t want that. That is not what this is.
“It’s not about politics; it’s about doing something that we believe is a good thing for our communities and for our people. It’s not for a show and it’s not about publicity.”
Barnett and Holcomb both reiterated that the displaying of the motto is optional.
“Nobody is forced to do anything they don’t want to do,” Holcomb said. “Everyone probably won’t accept it and that’s OK. It’s their choice.”
“It is certainly optional,” Barnett said. “If a person chooses or elects to do so then that is fine,” he said.
Cindy also said a copy of the law comes with each framed motto in case anyone is questioned or challenged about displaying the motto.
The free, framed mottoes will be available at the DeKalb County Schools in-service day Aug. 1 at the central office for teachers who are returning to their classrooms for the new school year.