- Texas public schools will now be required to hang posters that display the national motto.
- The law also requires that the posters have an American flag centered under the motto.
- Opponents say the law "imposes religion" on students.
A new Texas law requires schools to hang posters of the national motto, "In God We Trust," in every building on their campuses, as long as the posters are donated.
The bill, SB 797, was passed last year by the Texas legislature and states that campuses must display "a durable poster or framed copy of the United States national motto" in a "conspicuous place in each building of the school or institution."
The law only applies if the posters are donated to the schools, but conservative groups like Patriot Mobile — which bills itself as a Christian wireless provider — have already begun donating the signs to schools in the state, Chron reported.
It also requires that each poster have an American flag "centered under the motto" as well as the state flag of Texas.
The law applies to both K-12 and higher education institutions.
State Rep. Tom Oliverson, one of the co-authors of the bill, told television station KHOU it was a "great opportunity" to display the national motto at schools.
Texas state Sen. Bryan Hughes, another co-author, celebrated the bill with a Twitter post on Tuesday, saying that the national motto "asserts our collective trust in a sovereign God."
Opponents of the law, however, told The Guardian that it imposes Christianity in public schools, which they say are meant to be secular institutions.
"Alone, they're a basic violation of the separation of church and state. But in the broader context, it's hard not to see them as part of the larger Christian nationalist project," Sophie Ellman-Golan, director of strategic communications at Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, told The Guardian.
However, other religious groups like Council on American-Islamic Relations told the outlet that the posters could "foster discussions among Texas students about their various faiths and enhance understanding."
Representatives for Hughes and Oliverson did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Over the past few years, several other states, many in the south, have required or allowed schools to display signs, posters, or other insignia with the words, "In God We Trust," Forbes reported.
In 2018, following the Parkland shooting, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill similar to the Texas law that required schools to display the national motto in a "conspicuous place" in every building.
The Texas law comes as support for Christian nationalism — or the belief that Christianity is and should be intrinsically tied to American life and laws — grows on the right, including among GOP lawmakers.