North Carolina lawmakers on Thursday voted to require all public schools display the words "In God We Trust" in at least one prominent place on campus.
House Bill 965, sponsored by Republican Rep. Bert Jones, passed by a vote of 94-15, The News & Observer reports.
Aside from "In God We Trust," the official motto of the United States since 1956, the schools will be required to post Latin and English translations of The Tar Heel State's official motto, "To be rather than to seem."
The bill had been criticized by some who say the slogan promotes Christianity over other religions, but Jones disagreed.
"I understand that any time the name of God is mentioned it’s going to be divisive. But I would just remind us that this is the national motto of the United States."
According to the legislation, "In God We Trust," must be posted on a plaque or sign in at least "one prominent location of each school, such as an entry way, cafeteria, or other common area."
It also requires the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance every day and instruction on the meaning and history of the flag and pledge.
All Republican lawmakers voted for the bill, while the Democrats were split. The bill now heads to the State Senate.
A similar law was passed in Tennessee in March.
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