Mistaken motto


We all know that the Capitol Visitor Center was three years behind schedule and nearly $400 million over budget. But for all that extra time and money, you would have thought someone would have made sure Congress got its facts straight.

Engraved in the center’s walls is the saying “E Pluribus Unum,” Latin for “from many, one.” The carving is described as the national motto, but it’s not.

A 1956 act of Congress made the nation’s official motto “In God We Trust.”

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has raised a ruckus over the failure to include the nation’s official motto and the Pledge of Allegiance in the center, saying it was ignoring America’s religious history.

Sens. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and Robert Bennett, R-Utah, have acknowledged it was a mistake to call the Latin saying the national motto. For now the words describing it as such have been plastered over, according to this wire story in the Miami Herald.

The two senators agreed to engrave a prominent location in the center “In God We Trust” and label it the national motto. They also agreed to add the pledge to the center. The cost to taxpayers will be $150,000.

No matter what side you come down on in the religious debate raised  by DeMint, one thing is clear: Members of Congress should know what the actual national motto is…especially before engraving it into a $621 million building.


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