Star-Spangled Motto

On this day in 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the law establishing In God We Trust as the official motto of the United States. The motto had been in use, unofficially, since 1864.

First, however, in 1863, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase wrote this to the Mint Director:
“I approve your mottoes, only suggesting that on that with the Washington obverse the motto should begin with the word OUR, so as to read OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY. And on that with the shield, it should be changed so as to read: IN GOD IS OUR TRUST.” 

Then, he lined through “IS OUR” and wrote “WE” above it.

Chase to Pollock December 9 1863 Our motto In God We Trust

It was on Flag Day in 1954 when Eisenhower signed the bill to include “under God” in the pledge he said:

“In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”

His sentiments in the above statement helps us understand his resolve to establish Our National Motto.

Despite the assertion of some that “E Pluribus Unum” is Our motto, today is the 65th anniversary of “In God We Trust” as Our Official Motto, and it’s worth celebrating.

In fact, a couplet from the final stanza of Our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” containing a variation of the motto, inspired Our “Star-Spangled Motto” t-shirt design:

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”

 Find yours HERE.

Star-Spangled Banner In God We Trust


Seal of Florida In God We Trust

On this day in 1845, Florida, nicknamed the “Sunshine State” becomes the twenty-seventh state in the Union.

First, here’s the the Preamble of the Florida Consitution

“We, the people of the State of Florida, being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure its benefits, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, and guarantee equal civil and political rights to all, do ordain and establish this constitution.”


Additionally, Florida shares the “In God We Trust” motto with the United States, and it appears on the state seal, depicted below. The state flag combines overlays the seal on a St. Andrews Cross on a field of white.
Interestingly, the state’s first motto was “In God is our Trust.”
That is how the phrase appears in the fourth and final stanza of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key.

You can find that specific verse on Our “Star-Spangled Motto” t-shirt HERE.


Seal of Florida In God We Trust

The Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

On this day in 1817, Mississippi becomes the 20th state in the Union.

The Great Seal of the State of Mississippi features the motto, “In God We Trust,” which is the same as the National Motto of the United States.

Here is the Preamble of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi:

“We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking his blessing on our work, do ordain and establish this constitution.”

Seal of Mississippi
Star-Spangled Banner

In these United States, September 11 is proclaimed Patriot Day, and is observed as the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The bill to designate September 11 of each year as Patriot Day was introduced on October 25, 2001 with 22 co-sponsors: eleven Democrats and eleven Republicans.

Here are portions of this year’s Proclamation on Patriot Day, 2020:

“In 2001, our Nation, united under God, made an unbreakable promise never to forget the nearly 3,000 innocent Americans who were senselessly killed on September 11.  On this sacred day — Patriot Day — we solemnly honor that commitment.

To fulfill our collective promise never to forget, we impart the memory of that fateful day to our children and grandchildren.  The smoke that rose from the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the Pennsylvania field carried away the souls of innocent Americans.  As we recall the images of our American Flag raised from the ashes of Ground Zero and the Pentagon, we are reminded that good triumphs over evil.  We recommit ourselves to fortifying our cherished American values so that future generations will know in their souls that the United States is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This Patriot Day, we commemorate the lives of those who perished on September 11, 2001, we pray for the families who carry on their legacies, and we honor the unmatched bravery of our Nation’s first responders.  We also commend those who, in the days and years following the attack, answered the call to serve our country and continue to risk their lives in defense of the matchless blessings of freedom.”

For posterity, let US all stand United as Patriots, on this, and every day, as have the American Patriots of previous generations. Now, as always:

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”

Star-Spangled Banner

Lincoln Bible Inauguration Day

On this day in 1861, Abraham Lincoln signs the Revenue Act. The Act included the first federal income tax statute, levied to help fund the Civil War.

As a result, a 3 percent tax was levied on annual incomes over $800.

In preparation, President Lincoln sent letters to his cabinet requesting their “opinion in writing whether under the Constitution and existing laws, the Executive has power to collect duties.”

He signed those letters: “Your Obt. Servt A. Lincoln, ” That is, ‘Your Obedient Servant.’

Duty and Duties

On July 4, 1861, President Lincoln spoke to Congress about “[no]… ordinary subject of legislation” regarding the the Civil War:

“Surely each man has as strong a motive now to preserve our liberties as each had then to establish them.

A right result at this time will be worth more to the world than ten times the men and ten times the money. The evidence reaching us from the country leaves no doubt that the material for the work is abundant, and that it needs only the hand of legislation to give it legal sanction and the hand of the Executive to give it practical shape and efficiency. One of the greatest perplexities of the Government is to avoid receiving troops faster than it can provide for them. In a word, the people will save their Government if the Government itself will do its part only indifferently well.”

Referring to himself in the third person, President Abraham Lincoln concluded his message to Congress with this charge:

“In full view of his great responsibility he has so far done what he has deemed his duty. You will now, according to your own judgment, perform yours. He sincerely hopes that your views and your action may so accord with his as to assure all faithful citizens who have been disturbed in their rights of a certain and speedy restoration to them under the Constitution and the laws.

Finally, he echoed Our National Motto and the words from Our National Anthem that inspired Our forthcoming shirt, seen below: 

“And having thus chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God and go forward without fear and with manly hearts.”

Lastly, however one regards federal income taxes, Abraham Lincoln’s reverence for the Bible is quite clear:

“In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

That quote inspired this shirt:

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

Flag of the State of Georgia

On this day in 1788, Georgia ratifies the U.S. Constitution to become the fourth state in the Union.

First, here is the Preamble of the Constitution of the State of Georgia:

“To perpetuate the principles of free government, insure justice to all, preserve peace, promote the interest and happiness of the citizen and of the family, and transmit to posterity the enjoyment of liberty, we the people of Georgia, relying upon the protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution.”

Strong Supports

Second, this is the Georgia Law description of the State Seal, featured on the State Flag, pictured below:

“[T]hree pillars supporting an arch, with the word ‘Constitution’ engraved within the same, emblematic of the Constitution, supported by the three departments of government, namely the legislative, judicial, and executive. The first pillar has engraved upon a scroll ‘Wisdom,’ the second, ‘Justice,’ the third, ‘Moderation’; between the second and third pillars a man stands with a drawn sword, representing the aid of the military in the defense of the Constitution…”

The Georgia State Mott is, appropriately, “Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation.”

Finally, all of this is supported by the firmest of foundations, and Our National Motto: “In God We Trust.” 

Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation — In God We Trust; these make a great basis for resolutions heading in to a new year.

Flag of the State of Georgia

Although it’s Labor Day and we bid unofficial farewell to summer, I won’t be writing on the origins of the federal holiday, labor unions, or President Grover Cleveland’s politics of appeasement which failed to get him reelected.

Instead, I’ll be writing a bit of a personal post as I bid farewell to a bewildering month of August. In short, we lost our pre-born daughter after seven months in the womb; one week later we embarked on a weeklong Disney World vacation with extended family that had been planned since February.

Through it all, we have marveled at God’s handiwork, His divine timing, and we have felt His mercy. So, while it has certainly been a trying time, our faith has been strengthened, knowing we have nowhere else more vital to turn. This experience offers a clear parallel for the remainder of this post.

Unfurling the “Star-Spangled Banner”

Now, given what was apparently newsworthy while I was on hiatus at the house of that magical mouse, and its pertinence to the shirt I intend to produce next week, let’s turn our attention to the fallout from one man’s decision to sit, or kneel, but not stand during Our national anthem.

Given my status as a veteran, and as the founder of a company such as this, I believe I’m uniquely qualified to comment on this contemporary conundrum.

The double-standard on amendments and the freedom of conscience vs. hurt feelings aside, it seems that his disrespectful, yet rightful decision (no argument there) to take a different posture eventually led some to question the very validity of Our national anthem. This stems from an interpretation of arguably ambiguous lyrics from the third stanza of the “Star-Spangled Banner” written by an inherently flawed (as we all are) Francis Scott Key. It seems many Americans did not even know there was more than the first stanza, with which we are all familiar.

Still, it’s great that people are ‘unfurling’ the Banner and learning more about American history in the process. That’s why I started Our Lost Founding, because I think it all leads us to the ultimate, unquestionable truth found in the fourth, yes a fourth, stanza:

“Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Here’s the artwork for the aforementioned shirt:

Star-Spangled Banner

Civil War

As we come down on either side of the issue of the anthem and the appropriate posture to take, let us, with our national motto “In God We Trust” in mind, consider the pertinence of the words of Abraham Lincoln from his second inaugural address, toward the end of the Civil War:

“Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds… .”

Thankfully, Scripture offers us a powerful way “to bind up the nation’s wounds”:
“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Next, referring to my time at Disney World, I must say that I was impressed by the cascade of patriotic patrons wearing Captain America t-shirts. Sure, I’d like to see them all in Our Lost Founding t-shirts, but I am hopeful nonetheless. You may recall that toward the end of Captain America: Civil War a disillusioned Steve Rogers drops his shield, presumably abandoning his identity as Captain America.

Captain America

From time to time, frustrated with our country and/or its government or history, we all may ‘drop our shield’ in a sense as we struggle with our American identity. It seems that’s what Colin has done, as he drops to a knee. However, just as Steve Rogers picked it up again (at least in the comics) to stand for a just cause, we too must do the same, because, “conquer we must, when our cause it is just.”  

In God is Our Trust

Still, inseparably“In God is our trust” because as President Lincoln correctly stated: The Almighty has His own purposes.”

Obviously, the flag represents so much more than imperfect conditions, historic or current, in a country inhabited by imperfect people from all over the world. It represents the idea and the ideals of this great American experiment as laid out in Our Founding documents, and those who shed blood to defend it.

Of course, these too were penned by imperfect men, yet striving to realize the self-evident truths “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Without trust in a sovereign Creator, of course distrust and disillusionment reign as we focus on flaws and failings rather than Our faithful foundation. As you will see in all of my previous posts, unfurling our history underscores the trust our founders had in ‘Divine Providence.’ We are right to trust, too. Since the beginning of time, the evil one has made himself known to us by his attempts to cause us to question truth.

Besides, it is with the shield of faith that we can thwart the evil one.

In the wake of the foolish movement to escort God out of the American public square, it seems that there is a foolhardy attempt wash away the sins of our collective past by sanitizing our history. I know of only one Way we can do that.