Members of Congress on Monday called on President Obama to issue a public correction after he incorrectly labeled E pluribus unum the U.S.’s motto in a speech last month, rather than “In God We Trust.”
The lawmakers, members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, also said the president was making “a pattern” of dropping the word “Creator” when he recites the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence.
“By misrepresenting things as foundational as the Declaration of Independence and our national motto, you are not only doing a disservice to the people you represent you are casting aside an integral part of American society,” the representatives said in a stern letter asking for him to correct the speech.
Last month, while speaking at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Mr. Obama was trying to stress the similarity of the U.S. and Indonesia and said “it is a story written into our national mottos.”
“In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum — out of many, one,” he said, then compared it to the Indonesian motto, “Bhennika Tunggal Ika — unity in diversity.”
The official motto of the U.S., designated by a 1956 law, is “In God We Trust.” E pluribus unum is the motto on the Great Seal of the United States, and appears on the ribbon held in the beak of the eagle that dominates the obverse side of the seal.