By James B. DeMasters
This is a story which every citizen should know and cherish as a jewel
on wisdom. On the back of the U.S. One Dollar Bill is our country's motto.
"In God We Trust" and a representation of The Great Seal of the United
The first committee on the Great Seal was fromed July 4, 1776, and
consisted of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. These
were great scholars, versed in foreigh languages and familiar with ancient
history and philosophy.
The face of the Great Seal is on the right of the dollar with the
American bald eagle, our nation's symbol. As the eagle lives nobly and
majestically on high cliffs, so should our ideals be high. As the eagle's
breast is protected by a shield, so are our individual rights, which we
hold dear, protected by our Congress.
Clutched in the eagle's right claw is an olive branch and in the left
claw are thirteen arrows. This signifies that our government has the power
of peace or war. The head of the eagle always truns toward the olives
indicating a desire for peace, even in war. In the eagle's beak is a
ribbon with the motto, "E Pluribus Unum" meaning "Out of Many, One." Above
the eagle is a heavenly burst with 13 stars, which indicates the spiritual
above the material.
On the left is the reverse of the Great Seal with an incomplete
Egyptian pyramid representing "Solid Strength and Duration." The
unfinished pyramid means that the United States will always build, grow
and improve. The thirteen layers of the pyramid refer to the Thirteen
States and the separate stones represent local self-government. At the
bottom are the words "Novus Ordo Seclorum" meaning the "New Order of the
Above the pyramid is an eye within a triangle, Since ancient times this
has been the "All-Seeing Eye of God." And last, "Annuit Coeptis" means
"God has Favored our undertakings."
Compiled in the hope that our great American Heritage will never be
forgotten, this story was entered in the Congressional Record on Thursday
May 31, 1962 by Congressman Robert F. Ellis0worth.