Symbolism on the American dollar bill
The First Continental Congress asked Benjamin Franklin and a group of men to develop a Seal for the American dollar bill. These great men put an immeasurable amount of thought and heart into creating this Seal, and we should all be aware of the symbolism and heritage that we carry around with us daily in our wallets. Learning about the detailed representations makes me appreciate the dollar and value our great nation more than ever before.
Take out a dollar bill and turn it to the back side; in the left hand circle there is a pyramid. The face of the pyramid is lit up but the western side is dark which symbolizes the beginning of our country and points out the fact that the west remained unexplored at that time. The pyramid is uncapped, representing how the country is just beginning and nowhere near being finished. The “all-seeing eye” inside the capstone is an ancient symbol for divinity supporting Franklin’s belief that one man cannot do it alone, but a group of men with the help of God can do anything. There is a Latin phrase above the pyramid that says “ANNUIT COEPTIS” which means “God has favored our undertaking.” Wow, that in itself takes my breath away! The Latin phrase at the below the pyramid says “NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM” which means “a new order has begun” and at the base of the pyramid is the Roman numeral representing the year 1776 which is the date America gained independence from England.
Of course you know that ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ is printed on our currency; I’m so proud that this phrase remains and I pray it will stay until the end of time.
The circle on the right side of our currency is used today as a seal for many things. The Bald Eagle is our nation’s symbol for victory because the eagle is not afraid of a storm and he is smart enough to soar above it. As you can see the eagle wears no material crown and his shield is unsupported because our country had broken away from the King of England and can stand on its own. At the top of the eagle’s shield there is a white bar that represents our nation’s unification through Congress. The Latin banner in the eagle’s beak says “E PLURIBUS UNUM” which means “one from many.” The eagle holds an olive branch in one talon and arrows in the other, which is a statement that our country wants peace and the eagle looks toward the olive branch but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace.
The thirteen stars above the eagle signify the thirteen original colonies coming together to form the Star of David and the clouds of misunderstanding are rolling away. The arrangement of the 13 stars in the Star of David was an order from George Washington. This was the result of a request from a man named Hayim Solomon. Solomon was a very wealthy Jew who saved the Continental Army through his financial contributions, and when George Washington asked him what he wanted in return for his services Solomon asked for something for his people and he died a pauper.
The number 13 is a great symbol on our currency as well. There were 13 original colonies, 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 13 stripes on our flag, 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 letters in ANNUIT COEPTIS, 12 letters in E PLURIBUS UNUM, 13 stars above the eagle, 13 bars on his shield, 13 leaved on the olive branch, 13 fruits (olives), 13 pearls that extend to the edge of the bill, and 13 arrows.