August 2001 – The posting of the national motto in schools is an idea whose time has come. At least that appears to be the case, as an AFA campaign gains momentum. In Mississippi, the state legislature has mandated that the national motto “In God We Trust” be posted in every public school classroom, cafeteria and auditorium.
AFA President Donald Wildmon emphasized that no law is necessary for the national motto to be displayed. “Individuals can place the national motto poster without having a state law passed,” he said. “There are 1.5 million public school classrooms in America, and every one of them should have the national motto poster. The very least we can do for our children is let them see with their own eyes the words that symbolize the foundational moral truth of our culture.”
The movement is bringing communities together. Jim Thorne, station manager for American Family Radio (AFR) station WQST in Jackson, Mississippi, asked listeners to come and help frame 2,200 posters for the Jackson Public Schools. Volunteers responded quickly.
“We had at least 150 people show up – young, old, black, white – it was really, really neat,” Thorne said. “I spoke to an elementary school principal from Jackson who was here – she was moved to tears to see what was going on.”
Since the initiation of the In God We Trust campaign, more than 70,000 posters have been distributed. During a special day of AFR programming on July 3, AFA received orders for nearly 20,000 posters.
Increasing numbers of requests for the poster are coming from across the nation. The July 3 orders came from 30 different states. Many churches placed orders for at least 100 copies, which they planned to hand out to members asking them to frame the posters and donate them to local officials.
Over the last couple of months, In God We Trust posters have shown up in local courthouses, post offices, and sheriff’s departments. Half the members of Congress have also put up the national motto in their Washington, D.C., offices. The House of Representatives passed a resolution last year urging the posting of the national motto in every public facility.
“We’ve had requests from people of many different walks of life – mechanics, doctors, dentists, mom, and pop store owners – who want to put the poster up in their place of work,” Wildmon said. “There is a spiritual hunger in this nation, and many people agree with the sentiments of our nation’s motto.”
The recent orders have primarily been for schools. Louisiana state representative A. G. Crowe (R-Slidell) said his office has already gotten a formal request from citizens for 200 posters for a local high school.
AFA supporter Chip Hannah, who read about the campaign in the AFA Journal, got approval from school officials in Columbus County, North Carolina, to put up 650 posters. He is now contacting state lawmakers to see about passing a law like Mississippi’s.
Hannah said it helped when he provided county school officials with information about the posters and answers to questions about the legality of posting the national motto. The AFA Center for Law and Policy has prepared a statement that should help settle the question for uneasy school officials. That statement and other information about the In God We Trust campaign can be found at www.afa.net.
As far as Hannah was concerned, however, there was something else that seemed to be involved. “While I did some legwork, I think prayer was the key,” he said. “This whole thing has me charged up, and I’m ready to do more for God.”
AFA is encouraging individual churches to get involved by “adopting” their city and placing the poster in every classroom and public office. “We are thrilled about what is happening,” Wildmon said. “If churches adopt their city, who knows where this will end.”