Donald Trump has revamped the presidential challenge coin, a medallion that presidents hand out as mementos, replacing the traditional US motto of “E pluribus unum” with his own campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”
The Latin motto, which means “out of many, one” in English, has been invoked by many as evidence that America’s founding fathers intended the nation to be welcoming to all immigrants.
Trump’s coin is shiny and “very gold,” a change from the brass-colored look of coins issued by his predecessors, according to reports. The billionaire Republican is famously in love with gold and his New York penthouse apartment is trimmed in gold.
The new coin also bears Trump’s name in three places as opposed to tokens from past presidents whose names appeared only once. It is also much larger than former President Barack Obama’s challenge coin.
Another conspicuous change is that instead of the presidential seal, the coin features the White House with an eagle’s head bearing Trump’s signature.
The thirteen arrows representing the original 13 states have also disappeared from the new challenge coin.
Ethics experts have raised concern about Trump’s decision to include a campaign slogan on the coins.
“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,” Trevor Potter, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, told the Post.
Analysts say the new coin reflects Trump’s values, lending credence to criticism that he cares more about himself than the United States.
The president was involved in the design himself, according to one of his aides.