County officials in Jefferson County, Texas, recently voted to add the phrase "In God We Trust" to the county’s emblem.
County commissioners in Jefferson County, Texas, approved a resolution on Jan. 26 to include the phrase in the official county medallion. Currently, the emblem shows an outline of the county boundaries with the words, "Jefferson County, Texas."
The addition of the phrase is meant to highlight the U.S. national identity. The federal government made "In God We Trust" the national motto in 1956.
"Jefferson County desires to display this patriotic motto in the County Commissioners Courtroom as a way to solemnize public occasions and express confidence in our society," the resolution stated.
Communities in other parts of the country have also debated whether to include the national motto in public buildings.
In Clark County, Washington, county council members voted against adding the phrase to the council meeting room wall in a vote on Feb. 10.
While some veterans and religious leaders supported the inclusion of the phrase, others said they did not want "In God We Trust" on the wall because they felt it was not in keeping with the principle of separation of church and state.
While the measure did not pass in Clark County, Washington, a county board of commissioners in North Carolina approved a proposal to add the national motto to the main entrance of a courthouse.
The Gaston County resolution, which passed in a vote on Feb. 10, said the motto is not about propagating one religion over another, but it rather aims to show patriotism and honor its historic significance.
"I think history needs to be told, and why people would get upset for displaying national motto is beyond me," said Tracy Philbeck, resolution co-sponsor.
Jefferson County officials said they plan to install the new emblem after the completion of renovations to the Commissioners Court for termite damage. There is no start date for the restorations.