EducationLone Star LifeStatewide NewsDonated ‘In God We Trust’ Posters Flood Texas Public Schools, Following New Law Mandating Their Display

Critics claim the law represents an infringement on religious freedom and a violation of the establishment clause.
August 23, 2022
Posters with the United States’ national motto “In God We Trust” are beginning to adorn the halls of Texas public schools due to a law passed last year in the state legislature.

The Texas law, Senate Bill (SB) 797, requires “a public elementary school or secondary school” to display the motto in a “conspicuous place” if a poster or framed copy of the motto is “donated for display at the school or institution” or “purchased from private donations and made available to the school.” 

Bryan Hughes, co-author of the bill tweeted, “The national motto, In God We Trust, asserts our collective trust in a sovereign God.”

“I’m encouraged to see groups and many individuals coming forward to donate these framed prints to remind future generations of the national motto.”

Multiple organizations have answered the call. 

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The Yellow Rose of Texas Republican Women, a conservative political organization based in Harris County, donated signs last week to Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. 

In the Dallas-Fort-Worth area, cell provider Patriot Mobile donated signs to Carroll ISD schools. 

Patriot Mobile styles itself as “America’s only Christian, conservative wireless provider.”

In a Facebook post following the donation, it wrote, “Patriot Mobile is proud to be a part of having our nation’s motto hung in our public schools. Our mission is to passionately defend our God-given, Constitutional rights and freedoms, and to glorify God always.”

The Southlake Anti-Racism Coalition released a statement in opposition to the law and recent donations.

The statement reads, “SARC is disturbed by the precedent displaying these posters in every school will set and the chilling effect this blatant intrusion of religion in what should be a secular public institution will have on the student body, especially those who do not practice the dominant Christian faith.” 

Blitzwatch, an advocacy group opposed to “Christian Nationalists injecting religion into public education, attacking reproductive healthcare, and undermining LGBTQ equality,” also took issue with the legislation and other similar laws in the United States.

“The truth is that students are harmed when their constitutional rights are undermined,” Blitzwatch asserted.

“By enduring this harm, school children become collateral damage in the push to pave the way for legislation that’s even more unjust.” 

Texas is not the only state with laws related to the public display of the motto. Over a dozen U.S states have similar laws, some mandating the display and others only encouraging its place in public schools.

“In God We Trust” has been the United States’ national motto since 1956 when it was codified through legislation. 

Prior to this bill, the de facto national motto of the United States was ‘E Pluribus Unum’ or ‘one from many,’ which was passed as the phrase on the seal of the United States in 1782.


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Hudson Callender

Hudson Callender is a reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of San Antonio, Texas. Hudson recently graduated cum laude from Trinity University with majors in Economics and Political Science, and loves to study ancient history. Hudson is also an avid mountaineer, backpacker, and paddler, often leading trips to remote wilderness areas. Outside of his love for nature, history, and Lone Star beer, Hudson spends his weekends arguing with his friends about football, and will always stick up for the Baylor Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and San Antonio Spurs.