From Many, One

Easily recognized on coined and paper money, as well as towering national monuments, “In God We Trust” is the current, official motto of the United States. President Dwight. D. Eisenhower signed the law declaring the motto official in 1956; however, the phrase has been around in similar forms since 1814. Eisenhower’s decision was met with no controversy at the time as it happened to coincide with the increase in patriotism promoted by religious groups, specifically Christians, during the tension of the Cold War. In recent years, there has been talk of changing the motto to something that does not include “God” or any other religious connotation under premise of separation of church and state. This view is part of a bigger, ongoing debate about what separation and state truly means. We will eventually receive an answer of sorts if the Supreme Court ever chooses to rule on an issue within the scope of the debate.

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Prior to 1956, The United States had adopted a different motto for the Seal of the United States: “E Pluribus Unum”. This Latin phrase translates to “From Many, One”. In our current political climate, it is worth considering a revisitation to our unofficial yet original motto and examining why that could be a fitting adaptation.

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If the United States were to adopt “From Many, One” as a national motto, it would be a more accurate reflection of our formation as a nation and the original values we put forth together. It would also be an impressive social statement, throwing away intolerance and embracing the different backgrounds of the country. Our diversity is what makes us special and allows us to function. As time goes on, we need to be more adamant about accepting reality for what it is: not everyone who lives in the United States has the same experiences, and while there are many issues that can arise when the experiences are negative, our unique experiences form us into the one nation we are. We can change the way we function, but we cannot change that we are one, and we shouldn’t want to. We should be proud of each component that forms us, and when we start to treat each one right with respect and dignity, we will become as great as we can be.