Port: Do we need English to be our nation’s official language?


MINOT, N.D. — Sen. Kevin Cramer is sponsoring new federal legislation that would make English the official language of the United States.

You may have thought it was already the official language, but it isn’t. The United States has never had an official language.

Most states have made English their official language, and some have even designated “official” status to multiple languages. Hawaii recognizes the Hawaiian language alongside English. Alaska recognizes English and 19 other languages originating from the Indigenous peoples in that state.

Here in North Dakota, Chapter 54-02 of the Century Code — the section of our statutes recognizing all kinds of official things, like the official state fruit (the chokecherry) and, most recently, the official state sport ( curling ) — states that “the English language is the official language of the state of North Dakota.”

That’s been the law since 1987.

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