Here is a sample of what some Facebook users had to say:
I thought Vermont was American not Latin? Does any Latin paces have American mottos?
No way this is America not Mexico or Latin America. And they nee[d] to learn our language, just like if we go there they want us to speak theirs
How do you say idiotic senator in Spanish? I’d settle for deport illegals in Spanish as a back up motto.
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! Sick and tired of that crap, they have their own countries.
No cause VT ain’t no Latino area. Leave the motto alone.
This is America! Not Mexico!
This may seem like a silly story, but it goes to the deep strain of xenophobic nationalism that permeates American debates about history. Recently, the conspiracy site Godlike Productions had a thread devoted to America Unearthed, and it quickly degenerated into a stew of nationalism, racism, and religion. Take this comment for example:
This whole American Indians were here first bullshit is wrong. There's this stone there are the giant red heads that the Indians killed in a cave, and also there is all the Egyptian stuff in the Grand Canyon. Don't go all wounded knee on me.
These different types of ignorance are not wholly unrelated, nor are they new. In 1893, Thomas Sinclair gave a speech in which he explained that pseudohistoical claims about how the Scottish noble Henry Sinclair discovered America and improved the Natives with his white genes were necessary to combat the scourge of Latin peoples who were threatening to overrun America with their non-Anglo-Saxon cultures:
But to some of the brightest minds of America the burning question has of late been whether the Latin or Saxon race is to have the supremacy of their country; the intense activity of Roman Catholicism contrasted with the apathy of Protestantism giving philosophers and statesmen pause as to the near results, notwithstanding the power of science and reason. The glorification of Columbus in the discovery centenary of 1892 was an aid towards the threatened Spanish or Latin domination; and Scandinavian energy has been in movement, especially at the Chicago Exhibition of 1893, to counteract the southern tide, by ascribing the discovery of America to Norsemen of the Teuton stock, including, as principal factors, the English and the Dutch. Caithnessmen [i.e. the Sinclair bloodline], especially of Canada and the United States, have the strongest personal interest in such a gigantic Armageddon contest of blood and belief, if it is to be early fact. (Caithness Events, p. 178)
In short, though, history is a proxy for politics and serves as a way for groups to define themselves and their place in the world. Truth is, by and large, subservient to utility.