What’s big and shiny and gold and features Donald J. Trump’s name splashed across the front? No, it’s not a new development on the West Side of Manhattan. It’s the redesigned presidential challenge coin.
A custom dating back 20 years, presidential challenge coins have traditionally been handed out to service members in commemoration of special achievements and milestones. President Trump’s coin, which many saw on Friday for the first time, is unmistakably different from its predecessors.
Gone is the national motto, E pluribus unum, meaning “out of many, one.” In its place appears the president’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” which the administration has also used on official White House documents.
The traditional presidential seal has been replaced by an eagle looking rightward, with President Trump’s signature beneath it. Instead of holding the customary 13 arrows representing the original states, or an olive branch, the eagle is perched behind a red, white and blue shield, with 13 stars around its wings.
Many social media users expressed outrage, calling the coin “tacky” and a disgrace.
President Barack Obama’s coin, in contrast, had the presidential seal on the front and was smaller in both circumference and thickness. His name appeared on the back of the coin, above a depiction of the White House with his signature below it.
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