Texas schools must now display “In God We Trust” in a “conspicuous place” if the placards are donated to the institutions.
Senate Bill 797 revised the Texas Education Code in 2021 to mandate that public schools of all levels must display the national motto of the United States, “In God We Trust,” if the signage is donated or can be procured through the use of outside donations. But despite the law taking effect immediately, the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant shift to virtual learning saw few organizations taking advantage of the changes.
A previous version of the code authorized schools to display the motto but kept the decision to follow the guidance optional and left the determination up to the school district or the governing body of the institution.
According to the text of the bill, “a public elementary or secondary school or an institution of higher education…must display in a conspicuous place in each building of the school or institution a durable poster or framed copy of the United States national motto, ‘In God We Trust.'”
Signs displayed at these public institutions must contain a few specific elements in order to qualify under the new law. Signs must show a representation of the United States flag with the motto centered below it and must also display a representation of the state flag as well. A number of commentators critical of the law hoped that they could take advantage of a legislative blunder by coaxing groups like the Church of Satan to donate signage with additional imagery parodying the law. However, the text of the bill prohibits any additional writing or images.
3 requirements: motto, above the US flag (centered), a representation of the Texas flag.
No prohibitions on any other content, no size requirements. @ChurchofSatan – got any bright ideas?
Baphomet in the top center, with the motto underneath, and then very small flags?
— Steven Anderson (@SteveLAnderson) August 17, 2022
A number of groups such as the Yellow Rose of Texas Republican Women have begun donating signs to schools in the areas they operate:
Similar signs have been donated to Carroll ISD schools and the Yellow Rose of Texas Republican Women group has posted photos to social media of the signs they have donated to @CyFairISD schools. pic.twitter.com/318dEUt1XK
— MySA (@mySA) August 18, 2022
Patriot Mobile, a company that bills itself as the only conservative cell phone provider, has also donated signs to a number of schools:
Last night, Patriot Mobile donated “In God We Trust” framed posters to Southlake Carroll ISD (in TX) for all of its school campuses!
Patriot Mobile is proud to be a part of having our nation’s motto hung in our public schools, as specified and authorized by TX Senate Bill 797. pic.twitter.com/vc0ej6hKNX
— Patriot Mobile 🇺🇸 (@PatriotMobile) August 16, 2022