The only time visitors at the Wisconsin Capitol’s tree lighting ceremony heard the words Christmas came when the chorus brought in to sing carols performed “O Christmas Tree.”

Other than that, Gov. Tony Evers and Department of Natural Resources Secretary-designee Preston Cole called it “this tree” or the “holiday tree.”

In his comments, Evers declared, “This tree is truly a celebration of science in Wisconsin,” before flipping the switch on the tree’s lights. “I started out my career as a science teacher. So I understand how important science is to understanding the world around us and each other.”

Evers touched off a brouhaha early last month when he dubbed the tree a “Holiday tree.” Wisconsin called the Capitol tree a “Christmas Tree” for eight years under former Gov. Scott Walker. 

The state legislature voted to formally call the tree a Christmas tree during their November session. And that sentiment spilled over to Friday’s tree lighting ceremony. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Racine County, said on Twitter that the reason the student chorus was singing “O Christmas Tree” was “because it is a CHRISTMAS tree.”

The governor didn’t address the tree identification issue during his brief remarks on Friday. 

None of the Republican lawmakers who voted for the Christmas Tree resolution were invited to speak at the tree lighting. 

Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.

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