The symbol of the United States which appears on the back of the one dollar bill.

The obverse depicts a Bald Eagle, displayed, the body of which is covered by a shield. The shield has thirteen vertical stripes starting with white and alternating with red. In chief (the top third or so of the shield) is a blue field. Above the eagle is an arrangement of thirteen five pointed stars in the shape of a six pointed star. This arrangement is emitting rays.
The eagle is holding in its beak a ribbon bearing the inscription E Pluribus Unum. In its right talon it clutches an olive branch bearing thirteen leaves and thirteen berries. In its left talon it clutches thirteen arrows.

The reverse bears a depiction of the Eye in the Pyramid, standing on a plain with hills in the background and a few clouds in the sky. The base of the pyramid bears the Roman numeral for 1776, MDCCLXXVI. Above the pyramid appear the words Annuit COEptus. Below the pyramid is a scroll with the words Novus Ordo Seclorum.

Various Facts on my Countrys Seal:


1. 13 stars in the crest
2. 13 stripes in the shield
3. 13 olive leaves
4. 13 olives
5. 13 arrows (some like to include the 13 feathers of the arrows)
6. 13 letters in Annuit Coeptis
7. 13 letters in E Pluribus Unum
8. 13 cources of stone in the Pyramid
9. 13 X 9 dots in the divisions around the crest.
10. The Sun was in thirteen degrees of Cancer on July 4, 1776.

There is a connection between FreeMason's, & the great seal, but it is not as twisted as some portray it to be:

George Washington was a Freemason, as were sixteen of his generals. Benjamin Franklin as well as Paul Revere, General Lafayette of France and many more. Masonry played a large part in the policies and philosophies of the new nation, born in 1776. Many try to minimize the effects of this Masonic heritage which is found in almost every aspect of our nation's foundation. The fact remains that Freemasonry has played a powerful role in the shaping of our values and lives.

The Freemasons of the eighteenth century were some interesting characters. Some of the most celebrated minds of the 1700's became members of the Masonic community. Haydn, Mozart, Handel, Voltaire (Benjamin Franklin participated in his initiation) are just a few of the men who chose to become members. Others included Eliphas Levi (Alphonse Louis Constant), Count Cagliastro, and Count De Gebelin. These men were the leading occultists of their time. They delved into the mysteries of the ancient arts of Alchemy and Ritual. It was unavoidable that some of the mystical nature of their works should find its way into their Masonic Lodges.

Freemasonry of the 1700's was an avenue of intellectual freedom in the midst of monarchies and repressive governments. Within the tiled (guarded) lodges of the Masonic Lodge, every man was equal regardless of social status or wealth. All were brothers who shared the same basic core belief system; a belief in God, and continual service to society and mankind.

E Pluribus Unum = "From Many, One" Symbolizing thirteen separate states united into one nation.

The American bald eagle is the most prominent feature of the Seal of the United States. Across the breast of the eagle is a shield with 13 alternating red and white stripes (the pales) representing the 13 original States.

Note that the stripes alternate in opposite fashion from the stripes on our flag. On the seal the stripes begin and end with a white stripe, while on the flag the first and last stripe are red. Across the top of the shield is a blue field (chief) that unites all the stripes into one. The blue chief represents the United States Congress. In his talons the eagle grasps an olive branch representing peace, and 13 arrows representing war. These demonstrate our desire for peace but our willingness to defend with might, the Nation the Seal represents.

The Eagle holds the olive branch, representing peace, in its right talon; the stronger of the two. Showing that peace is superior. Its' head also is turned towards the olive branch.

The arrows are held in a bundle. Much stronger than a single larger arrow, they represent the power to wage war.

Note This alignment coincides with Benjamin Franklin's belief that the national symbol should be the rattle snake. As with the eagle, War & aggression are weaker, submissive to the strength of peace. He stated that: "she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her."

Annuit Coeptis = "It the eye of providence is favorable to our undertakings."

The pyramid signifies Strength and Duration: the Eye over it & the Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of Providence in favour of the American cause.

"Of all manifestations of power, restraint impresses men most." -- Thucydides

How about the one that wasn't approved?

About the same time as the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress requested that a committee be formed to "prepare a device for the seal of the United States of North America." Members of the committee included Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. In the words of the committee, the arms of the United States would resemble something like this:

"The shield has six Quarters, parts one, coupe`. The 1st Or, a Rose enamelled gules and argent for England: The 2nd Argent, a Thistle proper for Scotland: the 3rd a Harp Or for Ireland: the 4th Azure a Flower de luce Or for France: the 5th Or the Imperial Eagle Sable for Germany: and the 6th Or the Belgic Lion Gules for Holland, pointing out the countries from which these states have been peopled. The shield within a bordure Gules entwined of thirteen Scutcheons Argent linked together by a chain or, each, charged with the initial letters Sable, as follows: 1st NH, 2nd MB, 3rd RI, 4th C, 5th NY, 6th NJ, 7th P, 8th DC, 9th M, 10th V, 11th NC, 12th SC, 13th G, for each of the thirteen independent States of America.

Supporters, Dexter the Goddess of Liberty in a corselet of Armour, alluding to the present times, holding in her right hand the Spear and Cap and with her left supporting the shield of the States; Sinister the Goddess of Justice, bearing a sword in her right hand and in her left a Balance. Crest, the Eye of Providence in a radiant Triangle whose Glory extends over the shield and beyond the figures. Motto: E Pluribus Unum. Legend round the whole achievement, Seal of the United States of America MDCCLXXVI."

And that was just on the front side, the reverse side depicted a Pharaoh being engulfed by the Red Sea with Moses and the Israelites watching on and the motto "rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."

It was not warmly received and another committee was established that eventually came up with the design that was adopted in 1782 and is used today.

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