As if the Capitol crowd cant get enough of that old-time religion during the springtime revival known as the legislative session what with legislative prayer breakfasts, a newly formed prayer caucus and efforts to promulgate Christian creed some fervent wordsmiths have constructed a state motto to help clarify our identity: Oklahoma In God We Trust! Whats that you say? You thought we already had a state motto perhaps that being Labor Conquers All Things? Nah. According to Oklahoma Motto Inc., a nonprofit established in 2008 by Oklahoma City attorney and prolific author Bob Burke, our state never actually declared an official state motto.
House Concurrent Resolution 1024 provides illuminating logic: Although [Labor Omnia Vincit] is described in the Constitution as part of the description of the Great Seal of Oklahoma, there is no indication that it was meant to indicate a state motto.
Oklahoma Motto Inc. researched the Oklahoma Constitution and discovered that the word motto does not appear. Rather than ratify the motto-like phrase thats been taught in Oklahoma history classes over the last century, a bipartisan group deems it necessary to adopt the federal motto albeit 56 years and an exclamation point later.
Perhaps Labor Conquers All Things doesnt quite have the same zing in a right-to-work state. Or maybe the only labor that legislators care about these days is the kind that results in stretch marks (see next story).