Sometimes We Win


E Pluribus Unum will soon be on the wall in Venice Florida
will soon be on the wall in Venice Florida

Much of the news you get from us can be a bit depressing.  We always seem to find yet another sheriff or town council adding to government property or how we are being censored by a government agency.

Well I thought you might enjoy some good news.  That’s right. Sometimes we do win.


If you go back in the archive you will find a story about about another win in.  This time in  Del Norte County California.   This was after a bit of a kerfuffle with board member Roger Gitlin, which is covered here and here.   This is one of the instances where tenacity paid off and E Pluribus Unum will be displayed along side the In God We Trust sign.

Another and slightly more decisive with came from Venice Florida, where the idea of a possible lawsuit and a reasonable public outcry made the board think twice about the sign.  This is where the local citizens had more of an impact than our letter.  It shows that when we show up and voice our dissent, we can make a difference.

I have seen on several occasions board members have changed their minds after hearing from the public. Even though the resolution passed, we made an impact on somebody and that, in itself, is a win.

Most recently, we had a win in Irvine Florida.  At their last meeting of the year, the council voted to display both E Pluribus Unum and In God We Trust in the council chambers. Both phrases will be placed above the “Freedom Shrine” in the back of the room.  While we can’t say for sure if we had an impact on this decision, I can tell you we did send a letter to them when this was proposed earlier this year.

But if you look at the  early days of this movement, and by early, I mean September 2014, you will find Ballwin Missouri.  The board voted 6-2 against the motion which turns out to be the most decisive win we have had.  This is thanks entirely to the efforts of local activist showing up and making their voices heard.

While these wins are small in number, they are major steps toward a greater awareness and acceptance of the original motto.  And who knows, if we keep at this, one day we may see E Pluribus Unum on a council wall without it having to share space with In God We Trust.

Image:The Orange County Register.

*Update 12-11-15 13:00 to include Ballwin Missouri.

Robert Ray

Robert is the founder of The Original Motto Project. He is a avid secular activist that likes to dabble into small electronics in his spare time. He and his wife Amy co-host the Secular Yakking podcast. He lives in the Puget sound with his wife and 3 daughters.