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Q: One Dollar Bill ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: One Dollar Bill
Category: Relationships and Society
Asked by: starlight-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 02 Sep 2002 20:34 PDT
Expires: 02 Oct 2002 20:34 PDT
Question ID: 61113
What is the story behind the pyrimid on the back of the dollar bill?

- The words "Annuit Coeptis" and "Novus Ordo seclohum" are latin for something.  

- There is a Roman numeral " MDCCLXXVI ."

- The English words "The Great Seal"

- The triangle is symbolic for eternity.

- The pyrimid for death.

- The eye too see.
Subject: Re: One Dollar Bill
Answered By: juggler-ga on 02 Sep 2002 21:45 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

The pyramid is from the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United
States. The Great Seal was designed in the 1780s. The symbols were
added to the back of the One Dollar bill in the 1930s during the
administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

"Annuit coeptis" is Latin for "He (God) has favored our undertakings."

"Novus Ordo Seclorum" is Latin for "A new order of the ages."

MDCCLXXVI is the Roman numeral for 1776, the year of the Declaration
of Independence.

The pyramid is meant to symbolize "stength and duration." The triangle
is the pyramid's capstone while the all-seeing eye in the capstone
symbolizes divine providence. The capstone is not attached because the
pyramid is unfinished. The pyramid has 13 levels because the 13
original United States were the beginning, not the end.

main source:
"The Great Seal of the United States" from the U.S. State Department
(PDF format, so you'll need the Adobe Acrobat reader)

Other sources:

Bureau of Engraving and Printing:

"Know Your Money" from"

"Symbols of the US Government" from the General Printing Office:

search strategy: annuit coeptis, pyramid, eye, 1776

I hope this helps.
starlight-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: One Dollar Bill
From: sparky4ca-ga on 03 Sep 2002 02:04 PDT
Not any help, but a thought..
If the dollar bill has "God has favoured our undertakings"
and coinage has "In god we trust" on it,
Doesn't that make US currency unconstitutional in some states?
Subject: Re: One Dollar Bill
From: donboy-ga on 30 Oct 2002 11:17 PST
Seperation of church and state requires a seperation of power, not a
complete seperation of thought. The mention of religious themes in
government documents is not unconstitutional unless it somehow assigns
power or favored status to a particular religious group. The mention
of the generic "god" has not met with a great deal of protest.

Most states are a great deal less picky about religious influence in
government than the federal government is.
Subject: Re: One Dollar Bill
From: agapeincognito-ga on 02 Nov 2002 20:58 PST
For donboy:

Intriquing comment.  Any additional references you could recommend me to?
Subject: Re: One Dollar Bill
From: sparky4ca-ga on 15 Dec 2002 03:01 PST
I was thinking about recent rulings that make the pledge of allegiance
to the flag thing unlawful in some states becaus eof the "one nation
under god" bit.

I think there was another case where the license plate or state motto
had to be changed.

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