Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a Dec. 11 blog post, Accuracy in Media chairman Don Irvine complained that University of Maryland president Wallace Loh, in defending the decision to drop the name of a former school president with a history of racism from the school's football stadium, "managed to quote the wrong official motto of the United States" by bringing up the phrase "E Pluribus Unum."
Irvine added: "Considering that 'In God we Trust' has been the official national motto since 1956, it’s hard to figure out how Loh committed such an atrocious mistake, except to say that the official motto wouldn’t have fit his narrative as he caves to the left and practices revisionist history."
In fact, Loh never said "E Pluribus Unum," was the "official motto" but, rather, "our national motto engraved on our coins" (as Irvine directly quotes Loh). And "E Pluribus Unum," while not the "official motto," is unquestionably *a* national motto.
History professor Thomas Foster points out that "'E Pluribus Unum' has long been acknowledged as a de facto national motto. After all, it is on the Great Seal of the United States, which was adopted in 1782. Moreover, in the 1770s and ’80s Congress opposed a theistic motto for the nation, and many of the founders worked hard to prevent one from being established." It was founding fathers John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson who approved putting that motto on the Great Seal. "In God We Trust," by contrast, "was made the official national motto in 1956, at the height of the Cold War, to signal opposition to the feared secularizing ideology of communism," Foster writes.
If this debate sounds familiar it should: The ConWeb had a cow in 2010 when President Obama did something similar.