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Jan. 16, 2022

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County seeks old contractor to make motto match

After 'In God We Trust' goes up, no more will be considered


It could be more than a month before “In God We Trust” goes up in the Clark County council’s public hearing chamber, Acting County Manager Mark McCauley said.

After a contentious meeting featuring several hours of public comment, the council voted 2-1 on Feb. 24 to display the national motto in the hearing room. Councilor Jeanne Stewart cast the dissenting vote.

County staff are trying to track down the contractor who created the letters for Clark County’s motto, “Proud past, promising future,” to produce the new display in the same style, McCauley said. Plans on where exactly to post the controversial motto are still in the works.

McCauley, meanwhile, made it clear that “In God We Trust” will be the only motto going up on the wall in county chambers. The council is not accepting any other suggestions despite several offered by those who protested posting the motto, he said.

That means a proposal by the Satanic Temple of Seattle for a plaque reading “E pluribus unum” is “definitely not going to happen,” McCauley said. “E pluribus unum” — a Latin phrase meaning “Out of many, one” — is on the Great Seal of the United States and was the nation’s unofficial motto before Congress adopted “In God We Trust” in 1956.

The Satanic Temple reached out to Stewart early in March, and has since urged its members to follow up with her and Councilors David Madore and Tom Mielke on the issue.

Lillith Star, head of the temple, said the group has received no response from the county.

“Clearly, we are not welcome and they have no intention of accepting our proposal, but we’re going to go ahead and do it, anyway,” she said.

The Pierce County Council voted in July to post both “In God We Trust” and “E pluribus unum” in its chambers. According to The News Tribune, the plaques went up with little fanfare in January.