MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House of Representatives voted to allow the phrase “In God We Trust” on public buildings, but only after debate went far off track.
Black legislators on Tuesday accused a member of twisting history.
In speaking for the bill, Rep. Arnold Mooney said the phrase is from the national anthem, and noted Francis Scott Key once argued slaves on a captured ship should return to Africa.
Black legislators reminded him that Key owned slaves and his third stanza is thought to celebrate the deaths of escaped slaves who fought with the British.
The bill eventually passed on a 91-4 vote. It moves to the Alabama Senate.
Rep. David Standridge, the bill sponsor, said he wanted to clarify that people can put the phrase on state property.