Gaudy and Crass

gaudy and crass
The Washington Post reports: It’s ‘very gold’: The presidential coin undergoes a Trumpian makeover

The presidential seal has been replaced by an eagle bearing President Trump’s signature. The eagle’s head faces right, not left, as on the seal. The 13 arrows representing the original states have disappeared. And the national motto, “E pluribus unum” — a Latin phrase that means “Out of many, one” — is gone.


Instead, both sides of the coin feature Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”


The changes don’t stop there. In addition to his signature, Trump’s name appears three times on the coin, which is thicker than those made for past presidents. And forget the traditional subdued silver and copper: Trump’s coin, a White House aide marveled, is “very gold.”


Some ethics experts questioned the unprecedented decision to include a campaign slogan on the coins, which are often distributed to members of the military.


“For the commander in chief to give a political token with a campaign slogan on it to military officers would violate the important principle of separating the military from politics, as well as diminishing the tradition of the coin,” said Trevor Potter, a Republican former chairman of the Federal Election Commission.


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The elegant mark of the past
in honoring soldiers with class
is wrecked in the clutches
of trump — all he touches
turns instantly gaudy and crass.

Mary Boren, 12/27/17


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