Thursday, March 04, 2004

Puzzling New US Nickel design

Reports of the new United States nickel commemorating the Louisana purchase feature

a scene that commemorates the Louisiana Purchase.

The back of the new nickels now headed into circulation bear the words "United States of America," "Louisiana Purchase" and "1803." There is an image of hands clasped in friendship — one with a military cuff to symbolize the U.S. government, and the other with an ornate bracelet to represent American Indians.

Above the clasped hands is a tomahawk crossed by a peace pipe. The images are similar to those on Jefferson Peace Medals, which were presented ceremonially to Indian chiefs and other important leaders. Below the clasped hands are the Latin words "E Pluribus Unum" (meaning "Out of many, one"), and hugging the bottom of the coin is the denomination: "Five Cents."

One question is why the reverse image was chosen with an US Military cuff and one symbolizing an Indian Hand? Since we purchased Louisana from France for $15 million (and a good thing we purchased it too, just imagine Chirac running Louisiana today) why was this reverse selected?

Shouldn't the int have made the reverse with the French Flag going down and the U.S. Flag rising - that would have been historically symbolic and presently relevant symbolism.

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