This so-called paper money is, in fact, a cotton and linen blend, with minute red and blue silk fibers running through it. It is material and we have all washed it without it falling apart.
A special blend of ink is used, the contents of which we will never know. It is overprinted with symbols and then starched, to make it water resistant, and pressed to give it that nice crisp look.
Symbolism Counts. If you look at the front of the dollar bill you will see the first president of the United States, George Washington.
Look to the right and you will see the United States Treasury Seal. On the top, you will see the scales for a balanced budget. In the center, you have a carpenter’s square, a tool used for an even cut. Underneath is the key to the United States Treasury.
That’s all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should all know.
If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. Both circles, together, comprise the Great Seal of the United States.
The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin with a group of men come up with a seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.
If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a pyramid. Notice the face is lighted, and the western side of the pyramid is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the west or decided what we could do for western civilization.
The pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished.
Inside the capstone, you have the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol of divinity.
It was Franklin’s belief that one human couldn’t do it alone, but a group of humans, with the help of God, could do anything.
The Latin above the pyramid, “Annuit Coeptis” means “God has favored our undertaking.” The Latin below the pyramid, Novos Ordo Seclorum” means “A new order has begun.”
At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776, the first year of the United States’ independence.
If you look at the right-hand circle, it may seem familiar. It is in every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery, and is the centerpiece of most heroes’ monuments.
Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States, and it is always visible whenever the president speaks, yet, very few people know what the symbols mean.
The bald eagle was selected as a symbol of victory for two reasons: First, it is not afraid of a storm, it is strong, and it is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, it wears no material crown as we had just broken from the king of England.
Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield, you have a white bar signifying the United States Congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation.
In the eagle’s beak, you will read, “E Pluribus Unum” meaning “one nation from many people.”
Above the eagle, you have thirteen stars, representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away.
Again, we were coming together as one.
Notice what the eagle holds in his talons. It holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in times of war, its gaze turns toward the arrows.
They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number. This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor.
But think about this for a moment: 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”, 13 letters in “E Pluribus Unum”, 13 stars above the Eagle, 13 bars on that shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch, 13 fruits, and if you look closely, 13 arrows. And, for minorities: the 13th Amendment.
Most meaningful of all are the words on top and center: “In God We Trust.”