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"In God We Trust" (also rendered as "In God we trust") is the official motto of the United States as well as the motto of the U.S. state of Florida. It was adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1956, replacing E pluribus unum ("Out of many, one"), which had been the de facto motto since the initial design of the Great Seal of the United States.
While the earliest mentions of the phrase can be found in the mid-19th century, the origins of this phrase as a political motto lie in the American Civil War, where Union supporters wanted to emphasize their attachment to God and to boost morale. The capitalized form "IN GOD WE TRUST" first appeared on the two-cent piece in 1864 and initially only appeared on coins, but it gradually became accepted among Americans. Much wider adoption followed in the 1950s. First postage stamps with the motto appeared in 1954. A law passed in July 1955 by a joint resolution of the 84th Congress (Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 84–140) and approved by President Dwight Eisenhower requires that "In God We Trust" appear on all American currency. This law was first implemented on the updated one-dollar silver certificate that entered circulation on October 1, 1957. The 84th Congress later passed legislation (Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 84–851), also signed by President Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, declaring the phrase to be the national motto. Several states have also mandated or authorized its use in public institutions or schools; while Florida, Georgia and Mississippi have incorporated the phrase in some of their state symbols. The motto has also been used in some cases in other countries, most notably on Nicaragua's coins.
The motto remains popular among the American public. According to a 2003 joint poll by USA Today, CNN, and Gallup, 90% of Americans support the inscription "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins; and a 2019 student poll by College Pulse showed that 53% of students supported its inclusion in currency. Some groups and people in the United States, however, have objected to its use, contending that its religious reference violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. These groups believe the phrase should be removed from currency and public property, which has resulted in numerous lawsuits. This argument has not overcome the interpretational doctrine of accommodationism and the notion of "ceremonial deism". The former allows the government to endorse religious establishments as long as they are all treated equally, while the latter states that a repetitious invocation of a religious entity in ceremonial matters strips the phrase of its original religious connotation. The New Hampshire Supreme Court, as well as the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits, have all upheld the constitutionality of the motto in various settings. The Supreme Court has discussed the motto in footnotes but has never directly ruled on its compliance with the U.S. constitution.